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.

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    by: riano from: ina
    September 15, 2012 2:26 AM
    US must change their policy about freedom to make opinion in media by to respect every religions and cultures and behavior every countries,, the media must based ETHICAL.

    by: john from: german
    September 14, 2012 9:35 PM
    Asia and Africa will be completely occupied by muslim sooner or later, Europe has been partly occupied already. I just want to say: dear America, be careful.

    by: LeRoy Padmore from: Jersey City,NJ
    September 14, 2012 8:56 PM
    In every country there are bad people and if the bad people rise up the against the government,the government will react.like wise Mr.Mubarak did during his regime.look at what is happening in Syria now,the Government is fighting back.If we american think it is going to be better,we all are wasting out time.there is only one option for this situation and that is war.there is no if or but about this.If someone keep telling you,I will kill you,you better believed it.cause they meant what they said.those Muslim nations are not our friends.we need to open our eyes.those people hate the US,the Jews and Christian.their Koran taught them to kill the infidels, Sura 2:161, Sura 9:5 Kill whoso ever that does not embrace Islam.do not take the Jews and Christian for a friend Sura 5:51 (key note) read.the fact that you are a Jew,Christian or an American,they dont like you.Another thing Israel can defend herself against Iran,Iran is afraid of Israel.Iran is a piece of beard for Israel'and Israel will buried Iran.Long live America,Long live Israel,God Bless America.

    by: Bob from: Virginia
    September 14, 2012 8:46 PM
    every channel you turn the television on there is a sitcom or cartoon making fun of Jesus Christ. I have never heard Obama or Clinton condemn these shows or the writers. I have never seen Christians protest over these shows and kill people over them. Muslims are just jackasses. Someone tell Obama to call off his people.

    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    September 14, 2012 8:00 PM
    American government needs to promise that this kind of inflammatory insulting will never happen again. Those responsible must be hunt down and punished openly. This kind of religious inflammatory posts, films, audio should be banned, censored and cleaned from all media including internet.
    as human beings we should live together peacefully on the same world, to make that happen we have to respect each others including different cultures, religions, ideologies. only regulated and disciplined freedom is real freedom, or it is just anarchy.

    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    September 14, 2012 7:41 PM
    why americans always ask other people to understand them? If you americans want the respect from others then you have TO understand them in the first place.
    This kind of Protest is not the first time. When you do stupid thing you should expect the consequence and stop it before anyone get hurt. If you know the consequence and still decide to do it then you are the murder because you intentionally want the killing happen.
    To me the one need to change behaviours is not Muslins it is Americans. literately everyone hates you!

    by: Anonymous
    September 14, 2012 7:39 PM
    Not little we know about Mr.Obama is about to give Egypt 3.1 billion dollars,for what?for killing the American?Mubarak is not in power any longer,he said it,when he goes and the Muslim brotherhood take over Egypt,it will be bad for America.When Mubarak was there,he kept these crazy people in checked.He kept the Middle East in peace,He make sure the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt was effective.is this what you call a bad man.he did seek our interest.When Mubarak was there Iran dare not to talk.we brought the wrong man down,Mr.Obama is an enemy of Israel.I don't care what he says,this is the only American president have a personal issue with Israel.This man hate Israel with a passion.This man grew up in a muslim and his whole ideal is Islam.he has been indoctrinated by their beliefs.another thing he is playing delay tactile with Iran so that Iran can have a nuclear Bomb to destroy Israel.But Israel will always overcome.cause the God of Israel is powerful than allah.may the Almighty God Bless America,and May God Bless Israel.Shabbat Shalom to America

    by: kookaburra from: Australia
    September 14, 2012 7:09 PM
    There are 7 billion people in this world; not everyone is going to agree with you or respect your prophet. But if you kill innocent people every time someone says something that you don’t like, then you are also showing disrespect to God, your prophet and the Quran.

    Grow up. Get over it.

    by: musaw melake from: .
    September 14, 2012 6:44 PM
    It seem the Muslims think they can threaten and intimidate the rest o f the world into silence, for that's what they have been doing in the past. Whenever some stupid fellow makes film, publishes cartoon or writes news paper articles, they resort to these kinds of tactics; gather in mass numbers -most of the participants would be unaware of the motives behind, but come there just for the sake of being Muslim. In such gatherings they openly call for the killing of unarmed persons just because these individuals have either said something or written something that these Muslims consider unlawful. One should bot forget that all these threats come on western soil where the freedom of speak is valued and safeguarded. They are failing to see that the same freedom to speak is the one one that allowed them to make such calls. So, what's so important about this man Mohamed who lived many hundreds years ago. If the films portrayals is incorrect, forget it, the truth will ultimately prevail.

    by: Miss Adam
    September 14, 2012 6:40 PM
    I suggest to all those who have a misconception regarding Islam to actually go and study the Quran, i have done so myself and not followed whats been published in the media and other unreliable sources. IT IS A RELIGION OF PEACE AND and muslims who correctly follow its principles condemn strictly the loss of innocent life aswell as the blasphemy of the prophet Muhammad. Quite rightly to because im absolutely certain that christians or even jews would never endure silently the ridicule of Jesus or then even Moses! Clearly the fine line between freedom of speech and discrimintation has been crossed by some illiterate and stupid people who have now added to more hatred and anti-peace in the world...What a load of good for nothing jerks!!!
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