World press condemns Woolwich killing

Front cover of Russian paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Image caption Russian paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta's headline reads, "London, Paris, Stockholm, Boston - geography of violence is widening"

The killing of a British soldier by two Islamist extremists in London is condemned by commentators across the world.

Newspapers in the Middle East describe the attack as an ugly act of violence committed by "imbeciles" who were giving Islam a bad name.

Although the crime is denounced by analysts in China, they say that the UK turned itself into a target of revenge by actively supporting US-led military actions abroad.

Opinion is divided in the Russian press, with one paper saying that the Woolwich attack was the inevitable result of "filling" the country with foreigners, while another warns that nationalists could use such incidents to stir xenophobia and win seats in parliament.

Distorted image of Islam

"Those two imbeciles...have not just killed an innocent man but have also threatened the lives and interests of thousands of Muslims in Britain and Europe and distorted the image of Islam," writes Batir Mohammad Wardum in Jordanian daily Al-Dustur.

Yusif al-Shihab, in Kuwait's Al-Abas agrees. "The actions of the misguided have deformed the image of Islam in the West and convinced them that Islam is a religion of killing when it is exactly the opposite," he says.

"This crime will simply be used against Muslims and a massive press campaign has already started," warns an editorial in Saudi Al-Watan newspaper. "It's high time for Arabs and Muslims to learn from their experiences because if they continue to reflect Islam as a religion of killing it will only harm them and Islam."

Nigeria's Guardian newspaper published statements from Nigerian communities in the UK condemning the killing. One statement, signed by the president and secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Communities (NANC) UK, captured the general mood of their reaction.

It said the Nigerian community was saddened to learn that both suspects were of Nigerian descent. "Such an act is nothing short of barbarism of misguided minds, who have put a huge shame on their family, friends and the community at large".

"Chain reaction"

Analysts in China and Pakistan, however, also see the Woolwich attack as a warning that the UK should reconsider its actions abroad.

"These incidents are a chain reaction to the killings of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and several African countries by US and NATO forces," says an editorial in Pakistan Observer, an English-language daily. "It is time to revisit the interference of Western countries in the affairs of the Muslim world in order to calm the hatred among youths against the use of force by the West for the attainment of petty objectives," the paper advises.

Image caption Tributes to Drummer Lee Rigby were laid near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich

China's Jiefang Ribao also thinks that the Woolwich killing is the result of the UK's "active participation in many military operations" abroad. "The cost of using violence to counter violence also entailed discontent and revolts in the Islamic world, with one terrorist attack after another against the West," writes the paper's EU correspondent, Wang Yushen.

"The UK has been actively involved in the US-led regional conflicts and acted as a vanguard to become the second target of revenge after the US for Islamic extremists," says another Chinese daily, Guangming Ribao. In a report from London, it adds that many people in Britain were now worried that "this may be a precursor to a new wave of terrorist attacks against the UK".

The prospect sounded plausible to Israel's English-language daily Jerusalem Post. "No longer can this violence be seen as an exclusively external threat faced by countries located in the Middle East; it is a domestic threat as well," it says.

Clashes inevitable?

The Russian press comments not only on the killing of the British soldier but also on a reported rise in anti-Muslim attacks in the UK after the incident.

Writing in the daily Trud, Sergey Frolov says that ethnic tensions in the West were "essentially a postcard to us with a warning from the not-too-distant future". "You don't have to be Cassandra to see a basic cause-and-effect link between the hypocritical policy of filling a country with an alien population and a rising tension that moves into a hot phase of clashes," he argues.

Sergey Roganov, in the Moscow daily, Izvestiya, says: "We are witnessing the birth of a completely new world in the industrialised nations; our children and grandchildren will live in a world where motherland concepts, cityscapes and cultures are entirely different." Therefore, he concludes, "clashes are inevitable and it would be naive to suppose that developments can be problem-free".

"After the murder of a British soldier, nationalists took to the streets of the British capital and used the situation for their own political interests," writes Yegeniy Shestakov in Rossiyskaya Gazeta. He accuses "radicals who seem to have lost their popularity" of playing "the immigrant card". "The more incidents similar to the one in London, the more voices they will obtain in forthcoming elections," Shestakov warns.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites