When Hamas called for the Muslim world to calm down last week, European officials hoped they’d turned a corner. They’d been looking frantically for a way out of the clash of civilizations sparked by the publication of cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad. Danish Embassies were burned in Damascus and Beirut. Afghan riots led to at least 11 deaths. Another protester was shot in Kenya. Any voice of moderation was welcome. But there was not, in fact, much optimism in Brussels. “The situation is very, very complicated,” says an EU official close to the negotiations with Muslim leaders, who asked not to be named because of the talks’ sensitivity. “The cosmological problem will have to be solved bit by bit.” Cosmological indeed. The cartoon crisis has shown just how hard it is going to be for European and American leaders to straddle what Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi last week called the “huge chasm between the West and Islam.” The strategy taking shape in Washington and Europe includes some tough, targeted talk. Troublemakers (including certain governments) are to be isolated. “Iran and Syria have gone out of their way to inflame sentiments and to use this to their own purposes,” […]

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