17 Sep 2012

Hezbollah calls for protests against anti-Islam film

Shia Muslim militant group Hezbollah calls for fresh protests over an anti-Islam film as former prime minister Tony Blair urges religious leaders to condemn any action.

Muslims launched a protest outside the US embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia (pic: Reuters)

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, said that countries across the globe should know that Muslims “would not be silent in the face of this insult.”

US diplomatic embassies have been the scene of protests over the amateur video, which was produced in the United States.

The US ambassador to Libya was among four Americans killed in the initial eruption of anger over the film.

It came as former Labour leader Tony Blair dismissed the American-made film as “laughable” and insisted the response was “wrong”.

‘Wrong reaction’

Mr Blair, now Middle East envoy for the quartet of powers, told Radio 4’s Today programme: “The film, it may be wrong and offensive but it is also laughable as a piece of film-making.

“What I am afraid is very dangerous and actually is wrong is the reaction to it.”

Mr Blair said such problems were an inevitable consequence.

Jakarta (Reuters)

In a speech broadcast on Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV station, Sheikh Nasrallah called for a week of protests not only against American embassies, but also to press Muslim governments to express their own anger to the US.

“Those who should be held accountable, punished, prosecuted and boycotted are those directly responsible for this film and those who stand behind them and those who support and protect them,” primarily the US, Sheikh Nasrallah said.

He named several days over the coming week on which demonstrations should take place around Lebanon – the first on Monday afternoon in a southern suburb of Beirut which is a Hezbollah stronghold.

The film at the centre of the row, called Innocence of Muslims, is believed to insult the prophet Mohammed.

‘US gains from strife’

The sheikh claims the film is designed to stir up tensions between Muslims and Christians, adding that the US stands to gain from any strife between the two religions.

Karachi (Reuters)
Ankara (Reuters)

The violence which killed the US envoy to Libya in Benghazi was followed by a string of attacks on US consulates, embassies and business interests across the Middle East, Indonesia, and north Africa.

On Sunday, hundreds of Afghan protesters burned cars and threw rocks at a military camp on the outskirts of Kabul in protest against an anti-Islam film.

In Ankara, Turkey, protestors burned flags and waved banners declaring that the “black flag” of Al-Qaeda was “coming” (pictured, right). Four thousand protestors gathered in Lahore to protest. Some waved banners branding the US as “terrorists” (pictured, below).

British, Swiss, German and Dutch properties have also been targeted. There have been continued protests across the world against the US and the film, including in Amman, Islamabad and Lahore )see below).

Amman (Reuters)
Islamabad (Reuters)