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Violent Protests Continue, Whether the U.S. Press Corps Notices or Not



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Despite the fact that Romney’s “47 percent” remark dominated the headlines for much of the week, the preeminent news of the previous week — violent attacks and protests against U.S. embassies and consulates across the Muslim world — did not go away. Violent protests continued during the week, and today is Islam’s congregational prayer day. We can expect some groups to come out of their mosques riled up and full of fervor, out to express their outrage over the video and any other perceived insults to Islam in . . . flag-burning, rock-throwing, and perhaps much worse violence.

Across the globe, American embassies and consulates are shutting down, and the first reports of threats and violence are coming in:

Uganda:

Some Muslim clerics in Uganda are calling for protests against a film made in the U.S. that mocks the Prophet Muhammad.

Sheikh Hassan Kirya, the spokesman for an influential group of Muslims, said Friday that such plans were “in their final stages” and could include a demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in Kampala.

In an emergency message, the U.S. Embassy reported Friday of the “heightened potential for anti-American demonstrations throughout Uganda . . . due to the current wave of anti-Western sentiment.”

It urged U.S. citizens to “keep a low profile and avoid unnecessary travel.”

India:

The United States embassy in New Delhi was shut on Friday and employees were asked to stay on the compound due to the risk of protests over an anti-Islam film, embassy sources said.

Police in Kashmir fired tear gas at protesters on Friday who defied an unofficial curfew in the main city of Srinagar, where angry demonstrations are common after Friday prayers. Kashmir was roiled by protests last Friday and police in the southern Indian city of Chennai detained 86 protesters who attacked the US consulate, smashing windows and security cameras.

Malaysia:

About 3,000 Muslims marched on the United States (US) embassy in Malaysia on Friday, burning an American flag topped with the Jewish Star of David, over a US-made film that has sparked anger in the Islamic world.

Although there was no violence, angry demonstrators declared their willingness to sacrifice their lives to defend the honour of Islam’s founder the Prophet Muhammad and warned “there will be consequences” over the film.

“We will not allow The Prophet to be insulted. We are willing to sacrifice our lives and property,” said Mr Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, an official with the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), which spearheaded the march.

Australia:

Americans living Down Under, stay home.

That’s the message the U.S. consulate is sending its citizens in Australia, given the prospect of anti-American protests in Sydney’s Hyde Park and Martin Place this weekend. Last weekend, protests in Sydney over a video made in the U.S. that mocked the Prophet Muhammad turned violent.

At least six men were charged after a clash broke out between police and protestors in front of the U.S. consulate.

Pakistan . . .

American diplomatic missions in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi, were the prime targets for the mobs, but all were heavily guarded by police, who had set up road blocks using shipping containers. The army was on stand-by in Islamabad and elsewhere, according to Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who also ordered that shutting down of cell phone services.

The crowd attacked shops and other property and burned tires. In the northwestern city of Peshawar, the iconic Firdous cinema was set on fire, and at least 17 people were injured, including three police officers. A Pakistani television journalist, working for the ARY channel, was reportedly shot dead.

Elsewhere in Pakistan:

The protests come a day after about 100 small children in Karachi repeated anti-American slogans during a protest in the coastal Pakistani city, a police official said.

Video showed children repeating an adult voice that said “Death to America” and “Any friend of America is a traitor.”

But our government is not helpless in the face of this violence. They are responding . . . with television commercials:

The American embassy in Islamabad, in a bid to tamp down public rage over the anti-Islam film produced in the U.S., is spending $70,000 to air an ad on Pakistani television that features President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denouncing the video.

UPDATE: Yeek! Take a look at how Muslims are responding to the video on Facebook. The comments suggest they are . . . not placated by the administration’s efforts, and that these folks aren’t interested in any calm, reasonable dialogue.


Tags: Islam


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