|  
  |  
  |  
  |  
  |  
  |  
  |  
  |  
17 April 2014, Thursday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Fresh violence erupts over anti-Muslim film

AFGHAN PROTESTERS SHOUT SLOGANS DURING A DEMONSTRATION IN KABUL ON SEPT. 17, 2012. (PHOTO: REUTERS)
17 September 2012, Monday /REUTERS
Protesters in Afghanistan and Indonesia burnt US flags and chanted “Death to America” on Monday in renewed demonstrations over a film mocking the Prophet Mohammad that has unleashed a wave of anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim and Arab world.

Indonesian police fired teargas and water cannon to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who massed outside the US Embassy in Jakarta, capital of the most populous Muslim nation.

In Kabul, thousands of protesters took to the streets, setting fire to cars and shops and throwing stones at police.

“We will defend our prophet until we have blood across our bodies. We will not let anyone insult him,” said one protester in the Afghan capital. “Americans will pay for their dishonor.”

The demonstrations were the latest across the world provoked by a short film made with private funds in the United States that insulted the Prophet Mohammad.

In a torrent of violence last week, the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack in Benghazi and US and other foreign embassies were stormed in several cities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East by enraged Muslims. At least nine other people have been killed.

The United States has sent ships, extra troops and special forces to protect its interests and citizens in the Middle East while a number of its embassies have evacuated staff and are on high alert for trouble.

The situation poses an unexpected foreign policy headache for US President Barack Obama as he campaigns for re-election in November, even though his administration has condemned the film as reprehensible and disgusting.

Despite efforts early in his tenure to improve relations with the Arab and Muslim world, he faces a number of problems including the continued US military involvement in Afghanistan, Iran’s nuclear program, the Syrian civil war and the fall-out from the Arab Spring revolts.

US, Israeli flags burned

The renewed protests on Monday dashed any hopes that the furor over the film might fade despite an appeal from the senior cleric in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest shrines, for calm over the weekend.

In the Kabul demonstration, protesters shouted “Death to America” and burned the flags of the United Sates and of Israel, a country reviled by many Muslims and Arabs because of the Palestinian issue.

Police Lieutenant-General Fahem Qayem put the number of demonstrators at between 3,000 and 4,000 but said police had the situation under control.

Embassies in central Kabul, including the US and British missions, were placed on lockdown and violence flared near fortified housing compounds for foreign workers.

Rallies also took place in London, Australia, Turkey and Pakistan on Sunday, showing the global scale of the outrage.

In other developments on Monday, Iran said it would hunt for those responsible for making the film.

“The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns this inappropriate and offensive action,” First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said. “Certainly it will search for, track, and pursue this guilty person who has insulted 1.5 billion Muslims in the world.”

Iranian officials have demanded that the United States apologize to Muslims for the film, saying it is only the latest in a series of Western insults aimed at Islam’s holy figures.

The head of Lebanon’s Iranian-allied Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, called for protests in Beirut this week and said the United States must be held accountable.

“All these developments are being orchestrated by US intelligence,” he said.

 

 
 
WORLD  Other Titles
Australian premier's resignation as a sign of less, not more, corruption
UK PM's former media aide tells court he heard hacked messages
Aussie state premier's resignation a sign of less, not more, graft
Post, Guardian win Pulitzers for NSA revelations
Nigeria vows to protect May's ‘African Davos' in bomb-hit capital
Berlusconi ordered to do community service for tax conviction
Doctor to be tried in Britain's first female genital mutilation court case
Prosecutor wraps up Oscar Pistorius' grilling in murder trial
Syria opposition claims has evidence of chlorine gas attack
Egypt woman prof. targets young in bid to save Brotherhood
China seizes more than 10,000 illegal guns in crackdown
Macedonians vote for new president as general election nears
Complaints of serious fraud in Afghan polls exceed total in 2009
Indonesian parties in pact, clear way for top presidential candidate
UN climate panel warns emissions rising, blurs reason
Biden to visit Kiev to show US support for Ukraine unity
Iran rejects naming new United Nations envoy after US refusal
Death toll in fighting between Syrian rivals rises to 68
Venezuelan leader meets opposition
Egyptian police say kill two Brotherhood members in shootout
Murdered girl's mom says News of the World was force for good
Prosecutor, defense urge community service for Berlusconi
US health secretary quits over Obamacare
At least 10 dead when truck slams students bus in California
International students celebrate Prophet Muhammad in Gaziantep
...
Bloggers