Latest developments in protest of anti-Islam film
CAIRO (AP) — Here's a look at protests and events across the world on Thursday connected to an anti-Muslim film and caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
Hundreds of students and clerics gathered outside the French embassy in Tehran to protest the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a French satirical weekly. Protesters chanted "Death to France" and "Down with the U.S." and burned the flags of the United States and Israel. The demonstration ended after two hours.
Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned the U.S.-produced film and the French weekly's cartoons as offensive to Muslims and called on Shiites and Sunnis to unite in defense of Islamic values. Speaking in the Shiite holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq, al-Maliki said "all Muslims should shoulder responsibility of defending Islam."
"Defending Islam is the responsibility of all Muslims, not a particular sect or an ethnic group," al-Maliki said.
A crowd of more than 1,000 people, including students affiliated with the Islamist hardline Jamaat-e-Islami party, tried to make their way to the U.S. Embassy inside a guarded enclave that houses embassies and government offices in the capital Islamabad. Riot police used tear gas and batons to keep stone-throwing demonstrators away from the enclave, and hundreds of shipping containers were lined up to cordon off the area.
The demonstrations are expected to grow in Pakistan on Friday, the traditional day of prayer in the Muslim world. The Pakistani government has called a national holiday for Friday so that people could come out and demonstrate peacefully against the film.
The U.S. consulate in the country's third-largest city of Medan was shut for a second day as demonstrations continue. About 50 students from an Islamic university gathered in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province. They burned tires and forced a McDonald's restaurant to close. The door was later covered with a sign saying, "This must be closed as a symbol of our protest of the 'Innocence of Muslims' made in the U.S.," referring to the title of the film.
A few hundred people demonstrated in the downtown area of Kabul against the film ... chanting anti-American slogans. They dispersed peacefully.
The first protest in Germany against the anti-Islam film is due to take place Friday in Freiburg after Muslim groups, including Hezbollah, obtained a permit to march through the center of the town in southern Germany. Authorities expect about 800 people to attend. An anti-film demonstration is also scheduled to take place on Saturday in Karlsruhe, in southwest Germany.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.