protest-anti-islamfilm-AP-670
Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jamaat-e-Islami cahnt slogans during a demonstation, in Karachi, Pakistan on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. — Photo by AP

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of people demonstrated in cities and towns across the country on Friday to denounce an anti-Islam film produced in the US. In some places the demonstrators burned US flags and called for punishment of the filmmaker.

The low-budget film titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’, which has sparked fury across the Muslim world, portrays Muslims as immoral and violent.

Police beefed up security around US missions in the country after violent attacks on American consulates and embassies in the Middle East. But protests in Pakistan’s major cities passed off largely without any untoward incident.

In Lahore, Hafiz Saeed, the head of Jamaatud Dawa, led a 1,000-strong rally against the film. He urged the government to summon the American ambassador to protest against the film.

Hundreds of students gathered outside the US Consulate in Lahore and burned the American flag.

Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) organised a rally in Karachi. About 1,000 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.

In Quetta, around 800 activists of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam burned the US flag in front of the press club.

At least 500 protesters rallied in front of Islamabad’s Red Mosque after Friday prayers on a call from the 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 desecrating copies of the holy Quran.

“Terry Jones should be handed over to us for a trial by the Sharia court,” a speaker at the rally said.

Elsewhere in the federal capital, there were two smaller demonstrations, one of which led to brief scuffles with police.

In Peshawar, at least 500 people gathered after Friday prayers, chanting “Death to America”.

Protests and demonstrations were also held in Faisalabad, Multan, Charsadda, Mingora, Mansehra and Hyderabad.—Agencies

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Comments (6)

Aneel
September 15, 2012 6:43 am
Would love to know how many of the protesters have actually seen the film....
Jon Rosendall
September 15, 2012 1:44 pm
It does not matter if they have seen it or not. Blind zeal for childish minds. Muslim countries have no problems providing thousands if not millions of thrashing monkeys to demonstrate at the faintest whisper of contrary opinion to "islam".
HM, Canada
September 15, 2012 6:30 am
Boycott and ban/block the use of You Tube and Google(owners of Youtube) in Muslim countries. If all Muslim countries Block the use of youtube and Google, it will send ripples as they depend on advertising for their survival. This is the best peaceful protest.
Hasan Chand
September 16, 2012 10:41 am
If you have not seen the film or its trailer, I can understand your question; I would venture to guess that more than 95% of the demonstrators have not seen the film. However, if you have seen the film, you should have either remained silent or made an intelligent comment to express yourself. Muslims must PROTEST against such horrendous lies propagated against our Prophet (SAW) but do so without any violence or destruction of property, as our DEEN requires us to do. Violence & Destruction of property is unnecessarily prevalent in our society and reflects of our people being illiterate and without ability to think and follow what the DEEN says.
Kyle S Lall
September 15, 2012 7:29 pm
No one in Pakistan can; PTA [Pakistan Telecommunication Authority] has ordered this pathetic excuse for a film blocked on all Pakistani servers. As I live in USA, I started to watch it on the YouTube but after a brief while I could no longer bear to see my beloved Prophet [peace be upon Him] insulted in this egregious manner. Now after every prayer I will supplicate my Lord Most High to give the filmmaker extreme punishment as his reward InshaAllah.
Eddied
September 15, 2012 5:19 am
Extremist Muslims hate America because it has freedom and their countries do not...they want everyone to be as miserable as they are...they have a bankrupt philosophy that makes killers out of children and forces them into a perpetual state of war ( jihad ) that will never bring them peace...radical mullahs are the real source of the problem in these countries and they just continually blame the west to cover their tracks and fool their followers into thinking they have the answers when they do not...
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