Protests across Pakistan against anti-Islam film
[Dawn] Hundreds of people demonstrated in cities around Pakistain on Friday to denounce an anti-Islam movie, with some urging death for the film-maker and others demanding the expulsion of US diplomats.
The low-budget movie, entitled "Innocence of Moslems", which has sparked fury across the Moslem world, pokes fun at the Prophet Mohammed and touches on themes of paedophilia and homosexuality.
Police beefed up security around US missions in Pakistain after violent attacks on American consulates and embassies in Egypt, Libya and Yemen this week, but protests in the country's major cities on Friday passed off largely without incident.
In the eastern city of Lahore, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed
...who would be wearing a canvas jacket with very long sleeves anyplace but Pakistain...
, head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa
...the front organization of Lashkar-e-Taiba...
charity, seen as a front for a banned beturbanned goon organization, led a 500-strong rally against the film.
Saeed -- who has a $10 million US government bounty on him -- urged the Pakistain government to summon the American ambassador to protest over the film.
"We condemn this conspiracy of producing (an) anti-Islam film. Such blasphemous acts are intentional conspiracies from the US and we will not tolerate it," he told the rally.
The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka
The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an
independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
(JI) organised a rally in Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
, where around 700 party activists and supporters gathered with banners and placards bearing anti-US and anti-Israel slogans.
"Hang the filmmaker...hang the apostate," they chanted. "Jihad is the only treatment to cure American cancer," another slogan said.
|"Hang the filmmaker...hang the apostate," they chanted. "Jihad is the only treatment to cure American cancer," another slogan said.|
Around 400 protesters rallied in front of Islamabad's Red Mosque after Friday prayers, following a call from JI.
They called for the handover of Terry Jones, an American Christian pastor linked with the film, who has drawn protests in the past for burning the Koran.
"Terry Jones should be handed to us for a trial in the sharia court," a speaker at the rally told the gathering. Sharia courts try defendants according to Islamic law.
Another speaker called for closure of the US embassy and the expulsion of the US ambassador and other diplomats from Pakistain.
Elsewhere in the capital, there were two smaller demonstrations against the film, one of which led to brief scuffles with police.
In Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
, the northwestern city on the edge of the lawless tribal areas where anti-US feeling runs high, around 150 gathered after Friday prayers, chanting "Death to America™".
Posted by: Fred