Culture,  Politics,  Religion

Muhammad Caricature Watch: Thousands Protest Against Prophet Drawings

Pakistani protesters burn representations of US, right, and Danish flags to condemn the publication of cartoons depicting Islamic Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, Friday, Feb 10, 2006 in Karachi, Pakistan.

ASSociated Press: Thousands Protest Against Prophet Drawings

Thousands of worshippers emerging from Friday prayers demonstrated against drawings of the Prophet Muhammad in the Mideast, Asia and Africa, clashing with police in some cities despite religious leaders’ attempts to keep marches peaceful.

In Kenya, police shot and wounded one person among about 200 demonstrators trying to march to the residence of Denmark’s ambassador.

About 60 protesters in the Iranian capital, Tehran, threw firebombs at the French Embassy, shattering nearly every window on its street facade, even after a cleric at a prominent Iranian mosque urged people not to attack diplomatic missions.

“Down! Down with France! Down! Down with Israel,” the crowd chanted. One firebomb exploded in the embassy and started a small blaze that was quickly extinguished.

Asia saw its biggest demonstrations yet, and most there — like across much of the world — were peaceful. But sporadic violence demonstrated the difficulty Islamic leaders face in managing what Muslims see as righteous anger over satirical drawings of their most revered figure.

A fire burns in the French embassy after protestors began throwing molotov cocktails and stones in protest over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad in several western newspapers, in Tehran, Iran February 10, 2006.

Here we go again……

And Iran will NOT protect foreign embassies.

President Bush should send the Iranian ambassador to the United States home and Jacques Chirc likewise.

But Friday prayers — a frequent launching ground for political demonstrations — brought a new wave of protests in Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Morocco. No significant marches were seen in
Syria or Lebanon, the scene of attacks on embassies in past weeks.

In Jordan, organizers and clerics were able to keep order.

Around 2,000 followers of the Muslim Brotherhood marched peacefully through the capital Amman, after cleric Abdul-Rahman Ibdah told them in his sermon not to “imitate the rioters in other countries (who) harmed Islam.”

Egypt saw its most widespread protests yet, with thousands protesting in 21 of its 26 provinces, including in Cairo and the second-largest city, Alexandria.

Many were organized by the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, which has called for marches to continue — but peacefully. The group’s deputy head, Khairat el-Shater, appealed to Muslims beforehand “not to let their furor drag them into attacking properties … or to turn into a clash between civilizations.”

But violence erupted when police tried to stop demonstrations.

In the northern Delta city of Mahalla el-Kubra, where some 15,000 people marched, security forces fired tear gas and water cannon when demonstrators refused to disperse. Protesters pelted them with rocks and attacked shops and cars. At least 20 people were arrested.

About 1,000 people protested outside Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque, some chanting, ”
Osama bin Laden, explode Copenhagen,” and burning a Danish flag. Some threw shoes at police trying to bar their way, and security forces beat protesters with sticks.

Afterward, Brotherhood official Mohammed Bishr said the violence and flag burnings were caused by “intruders who infiltrated the peaceful demonstrations.”

Please…..these demonstrations are dragging on and on and MUST be state organized.

An Iranian demonstrator throws stones at the Danish embassy in Tehran. A leading Iranian cleric praised Muslim “holy rage” over the publication of the Prophet Mohammed cartoons but his calls for people to stop attacking foreign embassies fell on deaf ears.

About 2,000 protesters briefly clashed with police in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. The crowd attacked shops before they were charged by police.

Thousands also demonstrated in Malaysia, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, while smaller rallies were held in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Stay tuned for the London demonstration which should start in a few hours……


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