Interior Minister Rehman Malik.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government has announced a national holiday on Friday to protest against the American anti-Islam that has caused an outrage throughout the Muslim world.

The federal cabinet decided to make Friday an official “day of expression of love for the prophet” after discussing the “Innocence of Muslims” movie, which has triggered more than a week of violent protests across the Islamic world, a senior government official said.

The move came after religious parties called for a day of protest on Friday to denounce the film.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik, while speaking to media representatives earlier today, said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would join protestors in their demonstrations.

The head of the Sunni Tehreek religious party on Monday urged people across the country to close their businesses and hold rallies against the film, which was made in the United States.

Sources said traders and transporters associations in the largest city and commercial hub Karachi had backed the call.

Around 500 protesting lawyers broke through a gate to Islamabad’s heavily-guarded diplomatic enclave on Wednesday, chanting anti-US slogans and castigating the Pakistan government for its “criminal silence” over the film.

The film has fueled outrage across the Muslim world, with more than 30 people have been killed around the world during more than a week of attacks and violent protests linked to the controversial film. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have all blocked access to YouTube, following the video-sharing website’s failure to take down the movie.

On Tuesday, over 2,000 protesters chanting anti-US slogans and burning the American flag gathered outside the US mission in Peshawar to vent their fury at the “Innocence of Muslims” film. Furious protestors in Karachi also marched towards the US consulate to protest against the film, which has triggered a week of deadly protests across the Muslim world.

There have been furious protests outside US embassies and other American symbols in at least 20 countries, and the American ambassador to Libya and three other US diplomats in the North African country have been among those killed.

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Comments (116)

September 19, 2012 11:33 am
If so I did not see if USA has condemned this heinous move!
Syed Nazim Karachi
September 19, 2012 12:38 pm
We cant stop repeatation of such movies by violent protests that takes innocent lives. The best way is to improve muslims image. This can be done by upholding human rights, fair treatments of our and others daughters, sisters,mothers and wives. Respect for law, enforcement of justice and most important advancement of science and te. technology. As muslims image improves islams image will improve.
September 21, 2012 9:08 am
This shows how backwards We are .More than 30 people are already killed by so called protests.There will be more killing , more violence.This is religion of PEACE.
F Sadiq
September 19, 2012 11:29 am
This would simply mean more vandalism, more violence and loss in productivity in already least productive country.
September 19, 2012 11:28 am
There will be no result of this action. Why government itself protesting? If they want to do something than pressurize American governement to punish that producer.
September 21, 2012 8:29 am
Good GOD, what a great nation....Does the omnipotent Prophet require his subjects to defend him. If he is the GOD, can't he protect himself from the attacks by the other mortals (infidels)....May be Pakistani govt. thinks that their people need to vent their anger, which diverts their attention from the more mundane things which the govt. is not able to manage
September 21, 2012 8:23 am
You can tell this to Japanese, not Pakistanis
September 19, 2012 11:21 am
Peaceful, loving, religion....
September 19, 2012 12:40 pm
This is purely to please the fundamental forces who support the govt from outside. This "HOLIDAY" will only cause loss to the exchequer and affect earnings of the daily wagers. Ignoring the film and the person who made the film is the best response...
Z Ali
September 19, 2012 11:13 am
What a bunch of idiots - why even bother to pay any attention to something so pathetic
September 19, 2012 10:04 am
Too Late But Good decision. Thanks to cabinet for showing solidarity with the people against the blasphemous movie.
September 19, 2012 4:45 pm
September 19, 2012 10:12 am
Why this anger over a crappy video on YouTube? Internet is full of nasty information and clips so why bother? Why this overreaction? I'd say that persons with a deep and honest belief would not react at all.......
September 19, 2012 10:16 am
A public holiday for protesting against a low grade movie? Are you guys serious? Productivity is lost for an entire day in a whole nation. That's a mind boggling monetary loss. This kind of clowning is more insulting to Islam than the movie itself. All the religions of the world are being insulted by someone every minute around the world. Nobody would shoot themselves in the foot for such obscure reasons except Pakistanis.
Pakistani from Dubai
September 19, 2012 12:32 pm
A very regressive step. How many holidays will the govt declare if more videos are made ? Allah should be in the heart not in the streets.
Babbbi Butt
September 19, 2012 12:46 pm
Agree.. Sadly, there is no hope for Pakistan. Country has been hijacked by Extremists and corrupt politicians.
September 20, 2012 11:21 am
But then all muslim countries won't get any development money for schools, infrastructure, and clean water. Who do you think is finacing this? Stop relationships = "Checkmate westeners"? Wake up, the world is much more complicated than you imagine
September 19, 2012 12:27 pm
pak gov support to boost its economy... LOL
September 19, 2012 12:52 pm
instead of holiday they should have declare 2 hour extra work day for week , so people do not have time to destroy country.
September 19, 2012 12:26 pm
Political move to appease the most regressive elements in the society.
September 19, 2012 12:43 pm
Americans are taking political mileage out of this movie and the muslims are also doing the same ,
September 20, 2012 2:31 pm
Considering that Pakistan is the laughing stock of the world, and every one being hell bent on ridiculing Pakistan, you guys will need 365 off days to protest.
September 19, 2012 10:51 am
aik kahawat hai, behti ganga main hath dhona!!!!
September 19, 2012 10:16 am
j sarwar
September 20, 2012 9:30 pm
Pakistan are already behind India and Bangladesh with respect to economy. By joinning strikers the government has proved that they will work not work for a day and be paid by tax payers.
September 19, 2012 10:22 am
This is the only thing that our government could do
September 20, 2012 5:35 pm
Actually some of u r rt if we talk abt the economy but the real problem is that we r destroying our own properties ... But I want to add something nobody was listening to our protest when the govt announced a holiday everybody paid the attention we respect all other religions and we only need other ppl to respect our religion and our beloved PROPHET(PBUH)we can give up our lives for him don't check the temperament of Muslims we request ..."
September 20, 2012 2:40 pm
A sane voice. Amen.
September 20, 2012 7:51 am
How dumb can this be? Destroy your own economy because of a film made by senseless idiots. By shutting down your country and screaming your lungs out, will it make any difference to anyone outside Pakistan?
Raoul Ciao
September 20, 2012 7:24 am
fantastic response sir. Salute your enlightened thought. May more people understand that hate can be curbed by strengthening the Self and hating hate only worsens the situation.
September 20, 2012 7:06 am
be a better MUSLIM than a patriot
Suku Nambi (@SukuNambi)
September 20, 2012 5:06 am
Why doesn't the Government itself go on a holiday
U.E Hayyat
September 20, 2012 3:28 am
Most honest comment, I have reaad lately ...
September 20, 2012 3:11 am
Let me ask one bold question. Is such a violent reaction to movies, cartoons etc not idolatory? Burning Quran pages is insulting if one considers God residing in Quran and that would be idol worship in a sense. Hating cartoons or movies or any depiction would mean that Muslims accept that that particular depiction is actually Holy Prophet who is being insulted. Isnt it idol worship. A person who is truely not a Idol worshipper would not get disturbed by such foolish acts. But then again what do I ( Idolatory Hindu) understand about idol worship!!!
September 20, 2012 3:04 am
So you use violence to protest a youtube video portraying muslims as violent? Is that right? I just give up. There are thousands of videos on youtube saying "death to america" over and over again. I just really give up and I hope my country does too. Have fun with the Taliban, they love you doing their work for them. Next stop my local representatives and ask them to stop any aid to Pakistan. It's obviosly just a joke to give on single care about Pakistan. No amount of external effort will appease this country.
September 20, 2012 6:43 pm
Islamic world does not need school. Anyone can teach them how to kill people. Look at Afganistan as an example. Islam is a religion of stone age and Sharia Law.
September 20, 2012 2:43 am
Yep and keep doing it after every such movie pops up. Way to go.
September 20, 2012 2:41 am
i dont know what the government want prove by declare holiday on Friday.
September 20, 2012 2:38 am
Watch out for what would happen after Friday prayers !
September 20, 2012 6:46 pm
Isn't this holy work job of Mullahs. Go to nearby worship place they will gladly do the job, you don't need gun.
September 20, 2012 1:23 am
I do not even know what to say - no wonder Pakistan is light years behind India - what a shame!
September 20, 2012 12:19 am
You are right boss. Religion is personal not to discussed in streets.
V. C. Bhutani
September 19, 2012 11:50 pm
The film, which was made by a fanatic in USA, is clearly in bad taste; and that's an understatement. By declaring a public holiday on Friday, Pakistan as a State is joining the protest against the film. In any case, governments around the world, including several in South Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh), have condemned the film - rightly. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 20 Sep 2012, 0518 IST
September 19, 2012 11:43 pm
can somebody give me a gun so I can shoot myself..............
No hope.
September 19, 2012 11:30 pm
What a holiday to protest against the America anti-Islam? it was one guy people,like the muslims believe that not all muslims are bad,only 1% of 1 BILLION,same with any other country.This is where the government should promote peace instead of joining in on this burning down properties,shutting down businesses,people are already hurting from lack of power,no jobs,no education.These uneducated useless politicians have no clue,they just want to show their support during election times,these politicians could careless about any of this or any body in Pakistan unless ofcourse you belong to PPP.I live in America,most people did'nt even know about this until the muslim world started making fool out of themselves(AGAIN) I hope these molvis and mullas burn in hell for misusing the teachings of our Holy Quran.Everyone has a right to their opinion,if someone does'nt want to protest and does'nt want to close his shop so be it,he is thinking about feeding his family,there is no shame in this,his is not against Islam,besides,if he has done wrong,he will have to answer to the nly one,ALLAH.
September 19, 2012 9:54 pm
what is wrong in announcing holiday ? it is just to let everyone protest against that movie. the purpose of holiday is to free everyone from his duties to pay his regards to the real duty.
September 19, 2012 9:31 pm
Is there any hope for this country?
September 20, 2012 7:06 pm
You are right, you dont quite understand the issue. Muslims dont believe Allah is residing in the Quran. burning Quran is disrespectful only because these are the words of Allah and muslim respect any book on which the scriptures are printed specially the Holy Quran. Burning Pages of Quran is also not necessarily the issue but doing it in a way of contempt is what infuriates muslims and rightly so. Also depiction of Holy prophet in pictures is also not considered as the prophet himself. pictures and idols are in general not allowed in islam so again if someone does that of the prophet its sacrilegious. People need to respect each others beliefs i am sure you would agree to that.
September 19, 2012 8:42 pm
The government should declare holidays till Youtube apologizes and removes all anti Islamic content. There is nothing more important than Pakistanis upholding the dignity of the Prophet.
Faisal Ahmed
September 19, 2012 7:30 pm
Very bad decision. The Govt just gave people a liecense to burn public and private property during the protest
September 19, 2012 7:08 pm
Yes, that is a good idea. We need to take time out to protest this blasphemy, it's not like the economy is in ruins and therefore cannot handle off days.
September 19, 2012 6:56 pm
Now there is French cartoon. So More protests and more holidays?
September 19, 2012 6:46 pm
PPP is trying to win the votes but guess wot PPP you are never going to win the next election and you will never ever get my vote. These are exactly the kind of the acts by goverments that have spread fundementalism in Pakistan and pushed us back into stong age.
September 19, 2012 6:26 pm
It has - everyone from President Obama to Secretary Clinton to Joint Chief Dempsey - you should note that they had no business doing so - it was not state sponsored - keep yourself a little more informed!
September 19, 2012 6:22 pm
This is unbelievable! A classic example of how one country is digging its own grave. I am just wondering how painful it must be for the vast majority of sensible Pakistanis who see the inevitable but cannot do anything.
nasir siddique
September 19, 2012 5:46 pm
why only one day holiday. This is an insult to our religion. please mr. rehman malik declare a three day holiday for mourning.
September 20, 2012 2:01 pm
:D Wow. What about showing some solidarity with common sense and with some knowledge of Islam?
September 20, 2012 1:57 pm
Good one!
September 19, 2012 5:29 pm
So, Friday is not a Holiday in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. All these years I had thought that the weekend holiday is on Friday......!!!!!!
September 20, 2012 1:09 pm
It is great to know that Pakistan is taking a cranky fellow in the US ( not the US govt or even any miniscule section of the US society) so seriously.
September 20, 2012 2:16 pm
I have also watched the movie and it is a piece of trash. But, unfortunatele, people in Pakistan and other Islamic nations are behaving eactly like it is shown in the movie.
September 19, 2012 4:04 pm
They are going to sleep, its a national holiday
September 19, 2012 3:13 pm
Indeed. but the mullahs which essentially run Pakistan would not allow that. There would probably be riots over the decision NOT to have a holiday.
September 19, 2012 3:12 pm
Problem with emotional Muslims is that in their secondary sources are found strange stories which they find hard to defend so the easiest thing for them is to try and shut others up. This is a psychological lock that interferes with rational thought. They need to clean up fabrications from their so called history and hadith books. They must be educated to try and judge that kind of material by the Quran and reject what does not match it. Unfortunately I don’t see that happening anytime soon. We have scholars who have spoken against such material and the awareness is growing but the progress is slow.
September 19, 2012 3:07 pm
As if the Americans will listen. What a joke
September 19, 2012 3:05 pm
Pakistan continues to amaze me every time I read an article like this. A national holiday to protest !! Who is to suffer in the end? it is the ordinary Pakistani people themselves.
September 19, 2012 2:57 pm
Et tu PPP?
ali abbas
September 20, 2012 8:27 pm
I have no problem govt declaring this a public holiday to register their protest. I wish they would teach the citizen that they should do so with peace and completely deny the satisfaction to makers of this movie and these cartoon. People should be told that by acting in violent manners they are actually proving these idiots correct. I have read some very nice articles in Dawn and very balanced comments by the readers, this is the view that our govt should be propagating.
ali abbas
September 20, 2012 8:28 pm
You do not need a gun to kill yourself in Pakistan. Just go outside on a street corner and waive 5 rupees note, someone will do it for you.
September 19, 2012 2:56 pm
These illiterate politicians should work some extra time and file a complaint against this movie in international court... Protesting on streets will not stop this issue legally...
ali abbas
September 20, 2012 8:31 pm
Malik be honest, you never voted for PPP ever.
September 19, 2012 2:47 pm
I cannot believe what I am reading.NATIONAL HOLIDAY!!
September 19, 2012 2:29 pm
They woke up by declaring a holiday? strange logic
September 19, 2012 2:20 pm
simply dont watch the film - the life moves on without watching the film. another step to show that the people of paksitan are extremist. this will fuel further
Usman Rana
September 19, 2012 2:20 pm
Lol, yet another holiday for already on holiday Pakistani public. Prophet Mohammad (saw) taught us to turn away from whosoever mocks you, your religion or your prophet. Wonder why this nation is regressing instead of progressing.
Vinod kapoor
September 19, 2012 1:41 pm
How one person not even remotely connected to USA govt can cause this disturbance in the whole Islamic word. There should be protest but why blame America for this and why are Islamic people hurting thier own countries. I do not see that logic.
Muhammad Alvi
September 19, 2012 1:38 pm
I agree with Urawal above. I personally watched the video on YOUTUBE. The video is a piece of trash. I know it will hurt some Muslims emotionally, but it does not bring Islam down in any way. It could be easily just ignored. The US government, and American people, have nothing to do with this video. It is the work of a crazy person financed by some anti-muslim individual. I am sure that most of the Muslims protesting this video in more than 20 countries have not watched this video, and are not thinking about what they are doing. There is already hatred and anti-americanism existing in the muslim world, because of the American foreign policies and projection of power, particularly American unconditional support of Israel. This video is only a flash point. Declaring a holiday in Pakistan to allow protests is wrong.
September 19, 2012 1:24 pm
It is just a amateur clip of 13 min not movie.
September 19, 2012 1:15 pm
Are they going to declare another holiday for the Charlie Hebdo cartoons ?
Abdullah Hussain
September 19, 2012 1:07 pm
The protest will not go in vain, time is coming when no one will have any courage left to insult Islam any more. US should clearly understand that unless it punishes the culprits the anti American Lava will continue to ooze out & the US will have more enemies than friends. Choice is yours.
H. Being
September 19, 2012 1:00 pm
You are so right!
September 19, 2012 12:22 pm
Holiday on Friday??? The government will be responsible for all the destruction and blood shed when after Friday Prayer the people will come out on streets and burn out each others and the properties.
September 19, 2012 12:21 pm
Nothing constructive is done in this country, another holiday is escape from reality. PPP claiming itself a 'secular' party, joined the chorus line to look good in the eyes of believers,
September 19, 2012 12:18 pm
What on earth stops you making another holiday. Why don't you disconnect direct communication with the US at military bureaucracy. Your loyalty to either USA or Islam will come out.
September 19, 2012 12:16 pm
Incompetence! Incompetence! Incompetence! You want to honor the Prophet (PBUH) then you start by providing justice to the people and remove hunger and poverty from the land. For God's sake can you not even understand this much?
September 19, 2012 4:37 pm
A better form of protest will be for all muslim countries to downgrade its diplomatic relations with US and France if not permanently at least temporarily.
September 19, 2012 12:11 pm
"Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have all blocked access to YouTube, following the video-sharing website’s failure to take down the movie." I do believe that the correct word is "refusal" not "failure". Another prime example of Pakistan being run my mad mobs than a strong government.
September 19, 2012 12:10 pm
As if energy shortages, lack of education, ethnically and politically motivated riots, corruption from top to bottom and everything else was not enough to stifle productivity of the nation and now this. Take a day off to protest. The need to is to go after the persons with all possible legal means responsible for this, but we are hurting ourselves only.
September 19, 2012 12:08 pm
A Danish newspaper published another cartoon. If it goes like this Pakistan will have holidays year around. Enjoy your holidays!
September 19, 2012 11:54 am
We don't fulfill the rights of Allaah, The Most High, we don't fulfill the rights of Muhammad (may Allaah's blessings be upon him), we don't fulfill the rights of the people, and we expect to be victorious in our deen? Well, if we love the prophet (may Allaah's blessings be upon him) as much as we say, then why don't we show it by imitating him (may Allaah's blessings be upon him) rather than imitating the very people we protest against. Like many people have mentioned; we only harm ourselves and our country by taking the actions mentioned in the article. What a laughing stock we have become, and all due to the actions of our "OWN-SELVES"! May Alllaah guide us all to that which is correct.
September 19, 2012 11:49 am
Couldn't have said it better myself mate...!!!
September 19, 2012 11:49 am
This is not right step. Many people will suffer for this sudden holiday. accroding to you, 3 or 4 days holiday could be better step........ so funny
Tariq Abbasi
September 19, 2012 10:15 am
We must join hands to protest against film, to remove corruption, to educate ummah and to get a respectable space in the international community
September 19, 2012 11:11 am
Another wake up call would be to understand that this does not represent hoe the U.S. feels about Islam and the Prohet. We respect all religions and allow everyone to have a voice but when it affects people it is wrong. One mis-guided individual does not represent how the U.S. feels!
Salim Kazim
September 19, 2012 11:08 am
I don't see anyone protesting the death of innocent citizen by the hands of extremist. We are a nation of hypocrites.
No hope.
September 19, 2012 11:03 am
The daily killings of innocent shias,inhumane treatment of the christians,shooting of the Ahmedis and treating other minorities like second grade citizens is also against the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Prophet(PBUH), which is far worse than the film of a drawing,where is the government on all those issues,where are all these 2 face people on that? The government is a joke.People are people regardless of their faith.Rehman Malik,you are a sorry excuse for a man.
Gerry D'Cunha
September 19, 2012 11:02 am
teach the public 'tolerance' make a day of tolerant - protects will further agravate the common mans mind and surely this will never help the muslim society.
Farooq Shaikh
September 19, 2012 10:52 am
A sudden public holiday in Pakistan will cost billions of Rupee losses to the country.What a way to protest…by making our own country suffer. You are playing into the hands of people who made the film.There are wiser ways to protest.Our people burn vehicles, petrol pumps, burn banks of our own country , and our government compounds the losses by declaring public holiday.
September 19, 2012 10:44 am
Right step at right time, appreciable!
Anand Jha
September 19, 2012 4:09 pm
Good move - one full day and country full of so called true Muslims, should be enough to destroy full nation, killing innocent persons but yet arguing their religion promotes peace.
dr vimal raina
September 19, 2012 4:09 pm
rather everyone should wear a black ribbon and work more as a mark of protest.
September 19, 2012 10:38 am
A good step by the government after years !
September 19, 2012 10:29 am
Our politicians will always play politics....
September 20, 2012 7:58 pm
Why do you suspect violence? Muslims have the right to peaceful demonstration and if the govt of pakistan wants to lodge a protest they have the right to do so. in pakistan at least the violence was due to the fact that people who wanted to protest in front of US embassy were not allowed to go there and were shot on with live rounds.
September 19, 2012 3:41 pm
Only if saner heads prevail.After all this is Pakistan, where insanity rules.
September 19, 2012 3:41 pm
LOL, my feelings exactly.
September 19, 2012 3:37 pm
Why not? Since Pakistan is doing so well economically we can afford to take a day off. BTW Americans dont give a toss if we destroy our businesses or not.
September 19, 2012 3:32 pm
Well said. Good to see the nation got people like you.
September 19, 2012 3:34 pm
Instead of holiday the nation should make a pledge to follow the teaching of the Holy Prophet in letter and spirit.
Gerry D'Cunha
September 19, 2012 3:28 pm
One businessman who refused to join protestors has been charged with blasphemy in Pakistan.It has to be seen how many more people fall uner this law on friday for not joining the protest.What message are you muslims sending the world by doing this 'is islam a peaceful religion'
September 19, 2012 3:22 pm
If saying anything against holocaust is crime then why not islam. we should condemn and fully protest against this so that it may not occur in future.
September 19, 2012 2:02 pm
September 19, 2012 1:57 pm
I agree with you.
September 19, 2012 1:50 pm
Seriously? Feel sorry for your state of mind......No hope of Pakistan
Dr. Khiani NY
September 19, 2012 1:51 pm
One person makes the film, and now who is suffering?? who is dying? whose's property is being damaged? and who is the benefactor?
September 21, 2012 4:47 am
What a pointless idea!!! How will this help anyone including Pakistan? No one in the world cares that Pakistan has declared a holiday. If we were a major industrial power, yes. Except .... we're not. And of course it hurts our continuing ability to compete.
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