Muslim protest roundup
Yemeni police Thursday shot dead a protester and wounded five others when they opened fire on a crowd attempting to storm the US embassy in Sanaa to protest a film mocking Islam, a security official said.
The shooting came as protesters, chanting “O, messenger of Allah… O, Mohammed,” launched a second charge on the complex which they had stormed earlier but were ejected by the security forces.
President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi apologised to his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama and the American people for the acts of a “mob” and ordered a probe.
“Those who are behind (the attack) are a mob that are not aware of the far-reaching plots of Zionist forces, especially those who made a film insulting the prophet,” said Hadi.
Protesters ripped the doors off a police car, as they pushed it toward the line of black-clad Central Security Forces officers guarding the road leading to the US Embassy in Cairo. From 100 meters away, they advanced, throwing rocks, until the crowd was perhaps a dozen meters away from the CSF line. Protesters set the car on fire next to the Omar Makram Mosque, and black smoke billowed into the air, obscuring part of the CSF lines from view. Tear gas canisters volleyed through the black smoke, and protesters were driven back.
The exchange was just one episode in ongoing clashes which started late last night and have continued unabated, as protesters angry at a film which they say insults the Prophet Mohamed seek to make their way to the US Embassy, which is less than 250 meters from Tahrir Square.
Early in the afternoon, 30 to 40 people, mostly men aged from their mid-teens to mid-twenties, were directly taking part in the fighting. Petrol bombs were occasionally thrown by the protesters. Both sides threw rocks, and protesters picked up burning hot tear gas canisters, and lobbed them back toward security services.
Mahmoud Sayed, 69, who works for the Ministry of Heath, expressed what appeared to be a common demand amongst protesters. “The ambassador has to be expelled,” he said. “All we want is that, we don’t want to kill him like they did in Libya.”
Among protesters interviewed by Egypt Independent, there was a palpable sense of humiliation, as if the film was felt to represent an infringement of their dignity. Many saw the film as just one among a litany of humiliations which Muslims had suffered at the hands of Western governments.
In Iraq on Thursday, hundreds of Shiite followers of the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demanded the closure of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad because of the film. Protesters burned American flags and carried banners reading, “We reject the attack on the Prophet Muhammad.
“No, no, to Israel! No, no to America!” thousands shouted in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in northeast Baghdad. “’Yes, yes for Messenger of God.”
Iranian students protested outside the Swiss embassy in Tehran on Thursday against an anti-Islam film that sparked violent reactions in several Muslim countries and the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Additional security forces were deployed around the embassy, which looks after U.S. interests in Iran where Washington has no diplomatic relations, Fars news agency reported. It gave no estimate of the size of the protest.
Members of one student organisation present called on Muslim nations to “cut their relations with the United States and demonstrate their religious values against the colonial system”, Fars said.
Protesters expressed support for demonstrators in Libya and Egypt, shouting slogans including “Muslims unite” and “Mohammad is God’s prophet,” the report said.
Chanting “God is Great” and waving the green flags of the Israel Islamic Movement, around 50 protesters gathered outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv on Thursday, to protest against an anti-Islam film that has inflamed passions across the region.
Islamic Movement spokesman, Attorney Zahi Nujeidat, said Thursday that the protesters came from across Israel to the embassy, to “express our rage about this despicable movie that has harmed the honor of our prophet.”
Gaza‘s protest was run by Hamas, smartly trying to keep Gazan anger directed outwards:
Several hundred Palestinians in the Gaza Strip protested on Thursday against an anti-Muslim film that has sparked deadly riots in Libya and Yemen.
The protest, called by the ruling Hamas government’s ministry of religious endowments, comes after two days of demonstrations that have left four US embassy staff including the ambassador dead in Libya and a protester shot dead in Yemen.
Ismail Radwan, Hamas’s minister of religious endowments, called on the protesters gathered outside the legislative council building in Gaza City to “boycott American products.”
He called for new demonstrations to be held after Friday prayers.
Protesters held banners reading “Where are you Muslims, when your prophet is being insulted?”
American flags were also burned in Tunisia, outside the US embassy in the capital, Tunis.
Police fired tear gas at demonstrators who shouted their opposition to the film, and chanted slogans against the US.
But in Libya, there was a counterprotest: