Dawn News

Protesters torch a cinema in Peshawar, Pakistan on Friday, Sept 21, 2012. — AP Photo

PESHAWAR: Angry demonstrators set fire to at least six cinemas in Peshawar and Karachi on Friday amidst violent protests as the country marked a day of protests against an anti-Islam film.

Protestors attacked Capri, Nishat and Prince cinemas in Karachi, as they marched on the main M.A. Jinnah road in the city’s downtown area.

According to DawnNews, Capri and Nishat cinemas were partially damaged while Prince cinema was set afire by violent mobs.

Pakistani police inspect a burnt-out cinema complex following violent protests against an anti-Islam film in Karachi on September 22, 2012. — AFP Photo

Meanwhile, one protester was wounded when a cinema guard opened fire as angry crowds armed with clubs and bamboo poles converged on the Firdaus picture house, smashing it up and setting furniture ablaze, police officer Gohar Ali told AFP.

Witnesses said a rampaging crowd stormed the Shama cinema, smashing windows and setting it on fire.

When the protestors reached Arbab Road in the provincial capital, they attacked Capital cinema. The mobs broke down the cinema’s main gate and set fire to its screen.

Pakistani Muslim demonstrators prise a hoarding from a wall as they attack a cinema complex during a protest  in Peshawar on September 21, 2012.  — AFP Photo

Tens of thousands are expected to take to the streets across the country after the government called an impromptu public holiday to let people protest.

Security in the country was tight, with shops and businesses closed and usually busy streets deserted, after calls from all the major political and religious parties for a day of protest.

The authorities shut down the mobile phone network in major cities across the country in an effort to avoid violence. - Files from AFP and DawnNews

Protesters torch a cinema in Peshawar, Pakistan on Friday, Sept 21, 2012. — AP Photo

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Comments (88) Closed

Mohan Menon
Sep 22, 2012 07:01pm
'same could have been said about india after every other riot in which minorities have been burnt alive
Sep 21, 2012 10:53am
That was a government sponsored agitation. No one is going to be punished.
marghoob ahmed siddiqui
Sep 21, 2012 06:21pm
Whose loss is that? Pakistan. What to other countries if you start destroying your own property. This is is, in my opinion, the crudest way of protesting.
noman chaudhry
Sep 21, 2012 02:32pm
they are organized thugs who are given specific targets to destroy. All the banks, cinemas, shops on the MA Jinnah Road are their special targets. Looks like the modus operandi is to loot and then set fire.
Sep 21, 2012 12:10pm
There is no doubt that the film needs to be condemed, but than burning public and private property ,pelting stones on cars no way shows our love to the Prophet(S.W) . There is not even a single incident in the Prophet's(S.W) life where he in any way punished all those people who insulted him, even the people who threw stones on him and injured him during his visit to Taif valley, to the extent that his shoes were filled with Blood, were pardorned by him. We need to be more rationale in our approach.Lets make our self strong morally . I fail to understand , the social injustices going on in Pakistan, like Bribery, food adulteration, Gang rapes , forcibly taking over poor peoples property, denying the best ones to get jobs purely because they have bo powerfull political connections , are they not an insult to the teachings of prophet . Pakistan is not the only Islamic country, let all Muslim countries get together and also invite Countries like India , which has more Muslims than Pakistan, move a resoloution in UN, such incidents be taken as a breach of law , regardless of the fact thay happen in USA or any Eurpeon Country.
Salman Dasti
Sep 21, 2012 02:28pm
No one is raising a voice against corruption, intolerance, injustice, extortion and innocent killings here...
a concerned paki
Sep 21, 2012 02:28pm
I agree with all of the above
Sep 21, 2012 02:01pm
I think a much better answer would be; yes, until we start enforcing law in our country, and provide justice regardless of it been a mosque or army area! Education, equal treatment and equal rights for all (including Hindu brothers & other minorities) Justice = PTI Support Imran Khan!!!
Sep 21, 2012 12:22pm
they're all pathetic...theyre only destroying their own property...if they think the west cares about what they do to themselves, they're wrong...i mean why would the west care about what these illetrates do...they're only adding it more to the ani-Islam elements...this is an absolute disgrace !!!
Sep 21, 2012 02:01pm
cutting off AID to Pakistan will be the biggest favor that you will do..that aid that you are highlighting here just shows your own ignorance..UK/US aid only fuels corruption in Pakistan, with zero benefit to its people..it is nothing more than a means for foreign forces to exercise undue influence in politics and support pro-western elements....and sure remove the embassies...and then find some other route before 2014 to get out of Afghanistan...
Sep 21, 2012 02:25pm
same could have been said about india after every other riot in which minorities have been burnt alive....which happens every year or two..we in paksitan have our problems...but i doubt any indian has got the face to project india as a civilized sense-full country..
Ali Ahmad
Sep 21, 2012 12:47pm
A splendid opportunity provided by the government for the uneducated masses to whip up a frenzy and go and plunder. Were there any arrests made for destroying property? Ofcourse not!
Sep 21, 2012 03:49pm
Thank you for your kind suggestion. Look around and see every tom dick and hary spy agency is operating in the region. The whole mess is your creation. What did you finally gain out of East India Company? No worries, the ghost will only come back to haunt and boy haunt it will the world.
A Shah
Sep 21, 2012 12:42pm
This is the face of Islam that the world sees. Allah will not be happy!
Ikram Ullah
Sep 21, 2012 03:48pm
Please stop supporting our corrupt and brutal politicians. Pakistan is the country that can hit America directly by suspending the NATO supply line. Instead of devastating our own country's infrastructure we should take the solid steps to paralyze the Americans. And this is only possible that we stress our corrupt leaders to do so.
Jean Ashley Jones
Sep 22, 2012 09:37am
We would love to stop immigration for we are a small Island but the poor people of Pakistan will do almost anything to live here, you are being comdemnd here by your own kind, the BBC Asian radio Station was awash yesterday with Muslims ashamed of what they were watching. I would love to pull our troops out, in my opinion they should never have gone in the first place. One thing I am not, is a racist, how dare you even suggest it. I was alive in the Thatcher era and you have your facts completely wrong. Look again and educate yourself. Extremist never, you little know that I have the sweetest neighbours ever, they are Iraqi and Muslim and I am proud to call them my friends.
Sep 21, 2012 03:46pm
junaid..how would u apply visas and to western countries:-) how would u buy even a wiper blade for ur car and a diaper for a baby. just look around..what you have is plain chaos in a jungle
Sep 21, 2012 03:43pm
i thought we are living in stone ages..
khan Usafzai
Sep 21, 2012 03:43pm
it's to see people burning their own country and destroying property of people who build it in years and that too in the name of religion and interesting the one who own's it has nothing to do with shameful act infact he is the one who is condemning it too ...
Jean Ashley Jones
Sep 21, 2012 11:51am
Religion is just an excuse for a bundle, I have been watching here in Uk. there are young boys no older than 8 looting and most of the rioters are young men. Their Country called "Pakistan" is in dire straits economically, yet they are given a day off just to cause mayhem, I say let us remove our Embassies and staff from Pakistan and stop all AID. Let them stew in their own juice.
Sep 21, 2012 12:07pm
You are 100% right. Unfortunately, these actions are beyond comprehension and make no sense whatsoever. There is an urgent need of a civilized discourse, which seems like only a dream at this point.
Sep 21, 2012 05:41pm
One can easily understand that this is not the mood of 99% pakistanis..Why 1% of the population is destroying a country ? Why people are not burning anything in the UAE ? Pakistanis should think about that.
Sep 21, 2012 05:42pm
What relevance is there to this story? And it did not rain in Ethiopia yesterday.
Sep 21, 2012 03:32pm
Why did Govt announce public holiday when knowing full well public will be enraged come the protest time. It seems this is all deliberate. Zardari is playing same game as Musharraf by fanning extremism through Pakistan Public and telling West he is the only liberal voice among them.
Tariq Ahmed
Sep 21, 2012 03:33pm
I agree with Jean, we have been watching the protests in Pakistan, and mostly we see youth laughing and enjoying themselves, they dont care about the Prophet, they did not seem sad or even angry, they were having a rollicking good time burning and destroying property, it was shameful to see this. I hope someone has the guts to give a speech to the entire nation and how badly they misbehaved on a day when they should have showed their love for a man of peace, instead they proved to the world that Muslims are barbarians and uncivilized, and ready to destroy own nation for some sick thrill. I must add if people really loved the prophet they would not even hurt a single blade of grass, because that was what was taught by the prophet in time of war or anger, not to touch anyones property. I am sure of the prophet was here today, he would be ashamed of our reaction. Because of these misguided Mullahs and troublemakers, we are not dicsussing the vile movie, instead licking our self inflicted wounds and discussing mob violence, which is a distraction. The entire world has watched us react with disgust, our enemies are happy, if they make a few more movies, maybe we will all kill ourselves.
Sep 21, 2012 04:35pm
Madness is not a love; its destruction. When we Muslims do something bad and don't care about others then its OK. where are Saudies and Iranian. Where we were sleeping from JULY. To whom agenda we are following. If we ourselves say Muhammad (PBUH) is just like us then he can act like us then why we are angry if other saying so.
Sep 21, 2012 04:20pm
How many places did the Prophet burned when he was insulted? Answer = 0. If you love the Prophet then FOLLOW his teaching and remember destroying public and private property was NOT his teaching.
Murtaza Jamal
Sep 21, 2012 09:01pm
Yeah Moez, kind of like burning down consulates and burning KFCs because of the actions of one little known movie director.
Pavas Ambashta
Sep 21, 2012 05:23pm
wake up dear..It is 2012!! 10 years have been passed!! Culprits have been punished..Now what else do you want??
Sep 21, 2012 12:16pm
I agree. These people have nothing to do with the protest or any religion. If tey call themselves muslims, I am ready to convert to ANY religion other than the one they are following as I just dont want to be identified as them. They are thugs and should be arrested, and punished with the maximum possibe punishment. Enough is enough. These thugs should be put behind bars NOW.
Sep 21, 2012 02:17pm
Very good suggestion. Thanks a lot. Kindly stop all aid to Pakistan and remove your staff. Have some mercy on us.
Concerned Netizen
Sep 21, 2012 02:18pm
This is our way of showing LOVE towards our Prophet. Great!
Sep 22, 2012 11:51am
We have a scidal tendency and the enemies know it. We excel in destroying ourselves. I saw the TV coverage about protests. For he youth it seemed le a carnival they were enjoying burning and looting. So much for the love of Islam---- If you can't hurt e culprit, kill your own people. We are a storage people, we don't to,erate even the Muslims of other firqas.
An Indian
Sep 21, 2012 02:12pm
Pakistan is heading to the stone ages. Absolutely senseless.
Sep 21, 2012 06:11pm
Not an iota of Islamic teachings or the teaching of our beloved nabi (PBUH) reflect in these crowds, wonder what they are bringing mayhem for ?
Sep 21, 2012 03:51pm
There should be a rule to punish people destroying public property .A simple camera / video shot should be enough to put them in jail and recover cost by attaching their properties, bank accounts and future income... You will see NO ONE will destory cinemas and govt property... I think, all political parties can atleast agree on this... We are starving ...
Sep 21, 2012 03:54pm
Nobody can say they are surprised.
Sep 21, 2012 01:39pm
Smoldering Land of Our Birth, bringing down power lines, torching means of transportation, ......not the best way to show our love for the Prophet (May Peace Be Upon Him)......
Sep 21, 2012 12:15pm
By announcing a public holiday, the government most likely tried to appease the religious nut-cases. However, by doing that, the inepts administration overlooked the fact that because there would be no work, these people would have all day to go out and destroy whatever little left in this country. I have not heard or seen in any other country in this world where people like so much burning their own house.
Sep 21, 2012 08:03pm
Once again you paint the whole religon because of actions of the few
Sep 21, 2012 06:17pm
Few more videos and we will be wiped out as a country
Zakir Akbar
Sep 21, 2012 01:41pm
You definetly don't live in Pakistan..
Zula Khan
Sep 23, 2012 03:08am
It is always the action of the few which dictates the direction of a Nation
Murtaza Jamal
Sep 21, 2012 04:11pm
Those who partake in this violence and those who encourage this behaviour from their bully pulpit, unfortunately either don't or are unable to read the comments posted in an English language daily newspaper.
Zakir Akbar
Sep 21, 2012 01:42pm
Yes, till we don;t control Masajids and arrest the Imams who instigate such hate.
Sep 21, 2012 06:58pm
Ahsen, Is there any relation in this article and your comment.
Sep 21, 2012 12:48pm
we would love to see you implementing the suggestion
David Salmon
Sep 21, 2012 05:22pm
The US is prepared to leave the region in peace if Pakistan is. The problem is that the jihadi mullahs and Taliban will not confine their hell to Pakistan.
Faisal Ahmed
Sep 21, 2012 04:16pm
so the circus has began, well done Pak Govt and Pakis
Sep 22, 2012 06:42am
Pakistan badly needs secular education in their curriculum. For decades they have taught to hate other religions and minorities. For years, there has been a fanning of extremism and a lack of affirmative action against these fundamentalism by the Government. This has led to Pakistan being considered among the failed nations of the world today.
Sep 21, 2012 01:51pm
i agree. Please stop all aid to Pakistan and leave the region. Stop supporting our corrupt Politicians..stop propping up these puppets and let us burn our way to hell or reform. The white mans burden syndrome needs to end.
A Pakistani
Sep 21, 2012 03:07pm
I agree.
Sep 21, 2012 01:49pm
Mr Indian , there was a massacre of muslims in Gujrat who paid for that 2002 ??
Sep 21, 2012 03:06pm
It is now a big shame for me to be called a Pakistani. I don't want myself or my children to be associated with these mobsters, terrorists and radicals.
Sep 21, 2012 06:17pm
This is not the first time it happened to the peaceful and moderate people. Indeed this is the second time. The first time it happened was on the moderate and peaceful civilization of Gandhara of Pakistan. We only now see the ruins of it. The ruins of modern day Pakistan is not near if we are not careful enough.
Sep 21, 2012 01:43pm
Is there a functional body to start with at the first place ?? Pakistan has become a failed state. unable to provide education and basic needs to the nation.
Sep 21, 2012 01:46pm
With all means please do , but you have no embassies here , you have frontier battle bunkers here rather then embassies which have their own runways , Please exit our land , we do not seek your aid at the first place.
Neer Nayan
Sep 21, 2012 06:51pm
Let us pray to ALLAH TAALA, the Ultimate Forgiver, for the normalization all around! Be it on any piece of Mother Earth, violence in any form ought to be despised, condemned and refused a place in heart. Such horrible eruptions are a conglomerate of opportunistic intentions, deviant psyches, brainwashed innocent mentalities and unresolved prejudices. The ultimate bearer, the common man !
Sep 21, 2012 01:48pm
Why was a holiday declared in Pakistan? This was the lamest thing to do! An opportunity afforded by the government for brownie points to pander to the religious extremists. It's all about cheap politics. This holiday encouraged the mobs to destroy public property and indulge in arson and loot. What was Pakistan's law and order machinery doing when this was going on? Twiddling their thumbs I guess!
Sep 21, 2012 01:48pm
Were the cinemas showing the "Innocence of Muslims"? Or were they burnt because they were owned by non-Muslims? Pakistan must be boycotted from the community of nations. Their UN membership should be cancelled and all countries must stop all diplomatic and economic interaction with Pakistan. Then, may be after 10 years or so, if Pakistan learns to behave it self, we may review our stand.
Sep 21, 2012 05:14pm
Pakistani moderates are a majority, why are they allowing the country to be overrun by this minority of lunatics ? Things are getting worse every day now
Sep 21, 2012 01:07pm
Jahalat at it's best! It makes me sad that it doesn't take much to play with the emotions of Muslims all over the World and they end up hurting, damaging each other as the result and killing innocent who had nothing to do with this to begin with. All to show their love for the beloved Prophet (PBUH).
Sep 21, 2012 06:54pm
You have second largest Muslim population right across the border but see the difference in protests.Oh Pakistan what did you do to yourself, you have become Afghanistan.
Zakir Akbar
Sep 21, 2012 01:47pm
Problem with this idea is, More you isolate countries like Pakistan, the more redicles take control of the country. There are sane people live in Pakistan, but are out numbered by the hate mongering Zombies.. Unless west does not help those very few, who are trying to change the mindset, Pakistam will go further go down in abyss.
Sep 21, 2012 03:00pm
Shame on GOP for not taking to task these thugs having no love for Prophet or his teachings
Sep 21, 2012 05:51pm
Mr. Indian...when people in our country start to question like you do then peace will prevail. At the moment, religious parties and mullahs along with the government are working on political agenda for the coming election to show that they share a cause wiht general public as they apparently can not solve inflation, energy crises and unemployement so they have this topic of "importance".
Sep 22, 2012 07:05am
If nation wants to protest , boycott USA rather than destroying your own peoples property
Sep 21, 2012 07:16pm
Pakistan government gave a day off for people to go do anything they want. Islam is a religion of peace.
Sep 21, 2012 09:54am
What is the fault of the poor cinema owner? Is this rampage justified in islam? Who will pay for the loss of that poor unfortunate person who lost his living due to someone making a filthy movie thousand miles away?
Sep 22, 2012 08:33am
Right said Khan
Sep 21, 2012 07:17pm
Its 2012.. Just visit our state or phone to any of ur known person.. U knw d day (19.04.2012) whn u ppl busy in fighting against ur govt bcoz half of Karachi didnt hv electricity supply, few hundred km away chief minister of Gujarat inaugurate Asia's biggest solar plant in Gujarat.
Sep 21, 2012 12:35pm
this is the way pakistan is going to be.
Sep 21, 2012 05:43pm
Completely agreed. The government is run by incompetent and shortsighted leaders who do not miss single opportuntiy to strengthen their own political ambitions. However, average person pays the price for the actions of these incompetent leader..
Sep 22, 2012 12:48am
As a non-muslim, whatever I have learned about Prophet Muhammed, I can say emphatically that this is not the kind of reaction he would have liked his followers to show against some crazy person who is bent upon distorting facts. The best way is to completely ignore the bigots who produced the film, and took advantage of free speech in America. The kind of voilence and destruction, unfortunately, helps the bigots' cause. Let cool heads prevail.
haider khan
Sep 21, 2012 07:13pm
Although nothing new, what a sad day! I hope the nation can see through the right lense here. What hapenned today was not the result of hurt feelings caused by blasphemous content. It was the inevitable outburst from years of living frustrated lives. You can not expect a society to be positive after years of deprivation from the basic necessities of life. Blasphemy and raymond davis and what not, are just the catalysts. The real ingredients at play here are the abscene of those basic human rights that are being denied in our country at every other step of an average pakistani and nurturing all this hostility in their minds. Here's what's hapenning - Our enemies know very well what kind people are running the country. They also know that because of those leaders, the people pf our nation have all the ingredients to damage ourselves. So every now and then, they add a bit of that 'catalyst' and watch the reaction. I wish that we can divert our attention to the more critical on-going agenda at hand and work on the 'Ingredients' if we can sucessfully remove those, the catalyst won't be able to do much!
S. Khan
Sep 21, 2012 10:18pm
Agree, Could not be said any better. I hope God give us guidance to understand what is right and what is wrong when it comes to protest. Damaging property and country's infrastructure will only bring us more misery. Let us hope we can understand and follow a path of non violence and still be able to get our point across.
Sep 21, 2012 01:58pm
Jean! Make sure you take all your troops back, vacate all air bases, take back your drones, compensate the innocents killed, take your NGO (intelligence agents) workers, with you, take all the feudal lords and army generals that YOU support, with you, and take all the taliban that you funded against Russia with you. I am sure Pakistan will be a much better place if you and your agents leave us alone! I have some further suggestions for you! Why don't you stop buying oil and gold from Muslim countries, leave the missile defence systems, stop trading there and tell your government to stop immigration. In the Thatcher era, demonstrators did burn factories. Did your culture, fathers and fore fathers teach you this? NO, they didn't! So STOP being racist. You can't judge a whole nation by a few people's actions. That's what extremists like you, and the people burning cinemas, need to understand!
Bill Maher
Sep 22, 2012 06:52am
If we had to declare a day "for the love of the Prophet(pbuh)", does this mean that we don't have to love him now for the rest of the year? ..Peace
Sep 21, 2012 05:34pm
Totally agree...
Sep 21, 2012 04:24pm
What does that event have to do with what is going on in Pakistan. Instead of taking the owership of our actions, we always deflect the blame and try to put it on someone else. No wonder the country is in such a dire state.
Maulana Zubair Qasmi
Sep 21, 2012 04:23pm
Unfortunately west is playing with Jazbaat, only Muslims are facing losses and killing by such violent acts. the west laughing to see our burning homes. O my Muslim brothers, please dont indulge yourself in such violent acts.
Sep 22, 2012 12:12am
Makes no sense when Pakistanis ask for and get U S financial aid, ask for them to buy products made in your country, and then burn their flag and riot in the streets crying out " DEATH TO AMERICA DEATH TO THE U S A.". Many ignorant sheep following dangerous lunatics.
Faisal Ahmed
Sep 21, 2012 04:23pm
I wish...even stone age was better than this Islamic Republic
True Indian
Sep 21, 2012 02:18pm
"Nine killed as protests turn violent on
Ali Shallwani
Sep 21, 2012 05:34pm
how would burning the cinemas going to help their cause? Also, how can we blame outsiders of trying to hurt our country, when we ourselves are doing a pretty fine job ourselves? I never thought i will ever get to see my beautiful country "Pakistan" being destroyed by my own people. It surely hurts. Only a miracle can turn this country around and God knows - we need that miracle now!!
Sep 22, 2012 12:10am
Sarcasm wont help. Before pointing our fingers at our neighbors let us introspect: are we any better? Given the political liberty and religious freedom in India, which are almost on par with western countries and which we boast, are 1000 times better than in Pakistan , are we behaving any better?
Sep 21, 2012 06:10pm
religion of peace.
Neer Nayan
Sep 22, 2012 08:33pm