HYDERABAD, Sept 16: Thousands of people including Christians and Hindus, activists of various religious and political parties and members of trade bodies took to the streets here on Sunday to voice their protest against the US-made blasphemous film, which has sparked anger among Muslims worldwide. Similar rallies were taken out in other cities and towns of Sindh.
In Hyderabad, several main roads and streets reverberated with slogans against the United States, European countries, extremists and fanatics and Pastor Terry Jones as the protesters marched up to the press club from different parts of the city.
All shops and markets were closed as angry youths set tyres on fire on almost every square and main road across the city and its adjoining areas.
There were reports that protesters threw stones on shops and vehicles and fired into the air to force markets and shops to close in Latifabad Unit No.7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, Cloth Market, Bangles Market, Pinjra Pole, Fakir Ka Pir, Tilak Incline and other areas.
Traders and shopkeepers also participated in the protest.
As the protesters, wearing armbands and holding sticks, gathered outside the press club, they raised anti-US slogans and burnt US and Israeli flags and effigies of President Barrack Obama.
They demanded action against the maker of the anti-Islam film which had led to attacks on the US consulates in several Muslim countries.
Mufti Dildar Hussain Naqshbandi and Syed Mubarak Ali Shah of Majlis-i-Amal Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat Pakistan, Sindh, Abdul Waheed Qureshi and Mushtaq Ahmad of Jamaat-i-Islami and Shabab-i-Milli, Shahid Qureshi and Shakeel Ahmed of Hyderabad Glass Bangles Dealers Association, Mustafa Haideri of Shia Ulema Council, Father Samson Shukardin and Daniel Fayyaz of Diocese of Hyderabad, Church of Pakistan, Azam Jehangiri of JUI-F, Dr Dilip Kumar and Jay Kumar Deehrani of Young Hindu Panchayat Pakistan, representatives of dozens of market associations and mohalla committees and members of general public participated in the protest. Speakers denounced the film and said that no Muslim could tolerate blasphemy. The movie had incited hatred and hurt feelings of millions of Muslims around the world, they said.
They said that Islam preached tolerance, love, brotherhood and respect for other religions, people of other communities and minorities. The United Nations should take notice of such provocative acts, they said.
A complete shutterdown was observed in Umerkot and processions were taken out in Shadi Palli, Ghulam Nabi Shah and Umerkot towns.
Leaders of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), STP and other parties who led the protests condemned the hate film.
A protest day was observed in Sukkur, Jacobabad and adjoining areas on a call given by JUI-F.
In Sukkur, JUI-F activists took out a procession and held a demonstration.
Speaking to the protesters, JUI-F leaders urged Muslim countries to sever diplomatic relations with the US. They also demanded cancellation of the impending visit of Pakistan’s foreign minister to the United States.
In Jacobabad, JUI-F activists marched in a procession up to the local press club, where they held a demonstration and a sit-in. Addressing the protesters, JUI-F leaders condemned the blasphemous film and urged the government to register a protest against the movie in a forceful manner.