News / Middle East

Anti-US Protests Rage Over Anti-Muslim Film

A group of Kenyan Muslims burn the U.S. flag following afternoon prayers outside the Sakina Jamia Mosque in the port city of Mombasa, Sept. 14, 2012.
A group of Kenyan Muslims burn the U.S. flag following afternoon prayers outside the Sakina Jamia Mosque in the port city of Mombasa, Sept. 14, 2012.
VOA News
New protests ignited across the Muslim world Friday as anger spread over an anti-Islamic video posted on the Internet. The U.S. and other foreign missions have stepped up security following violent attacks that began Tuesday.

In Tunisia's capital, Tunis, police fired tear gas at more than a thousand rock-throwing demonstrators. Some of the protesters Friday breached the wall surrounding the U.S. embassy.

Black smoke was seen rising from the embassy parking lot, although it is unclear if the protesters had thrown petrol bombs into the area or had set some cars on fire when they scaled the wall.

The violence also spread to Sudan, where witnesses said police clashed with thousands of protesters heading toward the U.S. embassy.  Protesters are also reported to have breached the German embassy.

​Related video report by Meredith Buel

Hundreds of protesters in Tripoli, Lebanon, set fire to a KFC fast-food restaurant.

Demonstrations continued Friday near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, with protesters throwing rocks at riot police, who responded with tear gas. Egyptian security forces also built a barrier to block the route to the embassy.

Protests were also reported in Malaysia and Indonesia, and security was tight in Kabul, Afghanistan, even though there were no demonstrations.

In Benghazi, where the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other American personnel were killed in an attack Tuesday, security was stepped up around the city and the airport temporarily closed.
 
U.S. warships are headed to the Libyan coast, while additional U.S. Marine guards were deployed to protect the American embassy in Yemen. Protesters Friday were pushed back from the embassy with water canon and warning shots, after demonstrators breached the wall the day before.

Cairo responds

In many Cairo mosques Friday, the video, a crudely-made attempt to mock the Prophet Muhammad, was the topic of the day.  One imam reminded worshippers that Egyptians, under their new Islamist government, can now openly defend the prophet from such insults.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has condemned the video. He spoke out again Friday on the need to keep protests in check, saying Egypt will never accept the killing of innocents, or attacks on diplomatic missions or personnel. He added it is every government's duty, including Egypt's, to protect ambassadors, missions and tourists.

The appeal for restraint followed what is being described as a frank telephone call overnight between Morsi and President Barack Obama.  The Egyptian leader is reported to have brought up the video, while Obama stressed Egypt's obligation to protect the embassy.

Obama spoke Thursday about the relationship between the U.S. and Egypt.

"I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy," he said. "They are a new government that's trying to find its way. They were democratically elected. I think we have to see how they respond to this incident."

Libyan officials said Thursday that they have arrested four people in connection with this week's assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his staff: information technology specialist Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.  The officials did not provide details.

American intelligence agencies are examining the alleged involvement of pro-al-Qaida militants.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the amateur U.S.-made movie that mocks the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. She called it "disgusting" and "reprehensible."

Tracing the Video

A trailer for the anti-Islamic video was posted on YouTube in July. An Arabic-language translation began circulating in the Middle East in recent days. Clips from the movie depict the Prophet Muhammad in a very unflattering light.  

The film has been widely condemned across the globe and in the United States.

Called "The Innocence of Muslims," the film was said to have been produced by a man named Sam Bacile, who told news media he is Israeli-American.  A consultant on the film says that name is a pseudonym, and there are suggestions that the man behind the film is an Egyptian Coptic Christian who lives in California.  There is no record of the film or its producer in Hollywood reference sources.  

Several news organizations have linked the inflammatory film to an Egyptian American, 55-year-old Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who lives in California and once was convicted of bank fraud.  Nakoula says he handled logistics for the production.

Another California man who says he served as a consultant, Steve Klein, has given conflicting accounts of the film's origin and funding.  Klein is the founder of anti-Muslim and other hate groups.  

VOA's Mike O'Sullivan in Los Angeles, Elizabeth Arrott in Cairo and Carla Babb in Washington contributed to this report.

Loading...

You May Like

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 4
    Next 
by: anonymous from: d
September 20, 2012 8:22 PM
stop insulting the Muslims and wave the constitutional right of freedom of speech, it's never fair with the Muslims is it ?
Americans are racist, at first they've sent the Indians to Holocaustic path to cut them by half under the name of " they were underpowered by there chief " and apologized. they've enslaved Africans in inhuman way after a lot of assassinations they have apologized,now it's the Muslims turn i guess.
one last thing the constitution was written in 1787 those who've wrote the Constitution did live among killing the Indians and enslaving the African why do you respect it so much ?

by: an american from: america
September 19, 2012 1:43 PM
Why should the US ever consider suppression of any of our freedoms? Especially not for the likes of radicals that murder over a stupid, stupid movie? What is wrong with you? Do you live everyday of your life in fear? We will not and do not here in america. The freedom of speech is a constitutionally protected right. Maybe you need to ask your government to 'protect you from our words' by limiting or banning your internet altogether.

by: Peacenik from: India
September 17, 2012 12:44 PM
This time too the Clerics of the Religion of Terror are going to install their President Husein Obama in the US. Goodbye freedom of speech. This-IOM- may have been an amateurish movie, but would they allow Tom Holland, or Robert Spencer to make a historically accurate movie? Any way you see, tough days are ahead for Israel.

by: M Naeem from: Pakistan
September 16, 2012 3:08 PM
The rule is very simple , whenever America needs oil , he could do any thing , he can put millions of Muslims in war hell, but he can't be questioned for his wrong actions and false deeds, he can capture any person who criticize USA policy , at that time in greater national interest of America there is no freedom of speech, but when it comes the matter of our beloved Prophet S .A.W , they think that they will bark and will get away, no, no and no , we can not tolerate any barking , we will protest and protest hard until America ban this video and punished all the producers, directors , film makers , actors and all those who took part in this project or help this project towards completion.

"""" Gulami-e-Rasool (S A W) main mout bhi qabool hai """"""

by: Umer from: Pakistan
September 15, 2012 3:13 PM
killing of american ambassader is painful.They paid for the other sins. We should protest in sensible way.
I as muslim believe that such killing of innocent people is against teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

US government must take step to change the policy of freedom of opinion. it is leading a serious imbalance in the world.

by: Stretch from: New York, New Yoek
September 15, 2012 10:26 AM
Now why is it when (1) American make a statement or voice their opinion the whole world take it as all of America said it? I don't blame every Muslim for the action(s) of it's country or another. I respect the Muslim faith and belief, but please stop blaming every American for what another say or do. To me this seems like a plot (Operation Northwoods) if you don't know what that is look it up. Every one of us need to open our eyes and see things for what they are.

by: Tran from: Saigon
September 15, 2012 10:09 AM
Why didn't they choose a non-violent way to deal with this matter, i.e. making fun on Jesus or telling jokes about christians, buddhists instead of killing the people, blowing up Buddha statue. As a buddhist, I am not angry for their actions to destroy the tallest buddha statue, but I feel sad because the statue has been destroyed after thousand thousand years......

by: Michael_Scofield from: Philippines
September 15, 2012 9:22 AM
why did they burn down KFC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by: Michael_Scofield from: Philippines
September 15, 2012 8:41 AM
There is something wrong about Muslims. Just like here in Philippines, we are all threatened by the Muslim communities. Without the Muslim communities, our country would be a safe place to live. Muslims here, just like in any other Islamic countries, for whatever reason, they don't have respect to human life especially the Christian Communities. Though it is understandable how anyone would defend his or her religion but by using violence, killing people and burning embassies, is idiotic and evil. We Christians need to defend ourselves...

by: nanashi from: japan
September 15, 2012 5:38 AM
OMG, just stop fighting. I have some muslim friends, and they are just good people...
condolences to the families of the deceased Americans and all those injured.
Comments page of 4
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs