Paramilitary forces guard a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Lahore, Pakistan, as demonstrations over cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad continue to fan anti-Western sentiment.
A Pakistani cleric offered a 1.5 million rupee reward and a car for anyone who kills the Danish cartoonist who drew Prophet Muhammad, while another Islamist leader was put under house detention, amid fears of more deadly demonstrations Friday, officials said.
Protests sparked by the Muhammad caricature continue in numerous cities around the globe. In Pakistan, thousands of security forces have been deployed to prevent unrest.
Police have arrested 125 protesters for violating a ban on rallies in eastern Pakistan and arrested 30 others after firing tear gas to disperse a protest in the southern city of Karachi.
More unrest in Pakistan and Bill Clinton is in town to see President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
Mohammed Yousaf Qureshi, prayer leader at the historic Mohabat Khan mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar, announced at the mosque and the Jamia Ashrafia religious school that he leads would give a 1.5 million rupee reward and a car for killing the cartoonist of the Prophet pictures that appeared first in a Danish newspaper in September.
Police were ordered to restrict the movement of all religious leaders who might address any rallies and round up religious activists a senior police official said in the main eastern city of Lahore.
Now, are these restrictions without a court order or a warrant……..?
Imagine if the FBI attempted to restrict the movements of Jesse Jackson or Joseph Lowery……
In Islamabad, there were about 7,000 protesters Friday, while about 5,000 others took to the streets chanting slogans in the city of Quetta.
In Multan, about 300 police swooped down on 125 protesters who had gathered Friday morning at a traffic circle, chanting, “We are slaves of the prophet,” and trampling on a Danish flag, said Sharif Zafar, a police official.
Protesters shouted “Death to Musharraf” as they were bundled into two police buses, referring to Pakistan’s leader, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who the Bush administration has called a strong ally in the war on terror.
So, the protests continue, Musharraf cracks down on the unrestand Mullahs and former President Clinton shows up to buttress Musharraf. Both know that the protest have nothing to do with the Muhammad Caricatures but everything to do with the desire of Pakistani Mullahs to take control of the Pakistani government.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, left, meets with Pakistan’s President Gen. Pervez Musharraf at President House in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 17, 2006. Clinton criticized cartoons of Islamic Prophet Muhammad, but he said Muslims wasted the opportunity to build better ties with the west by holding violent protests against the drawings.
The crackdown follows violent protests in Pakistan this week in which five people died and Western businesses were vandalized and burned. Thousands of security forces were deployed Friday in major cities, also including Rawalpindi, Quetta and Peshawar, in anticipation of more rallies.
Clerics at mosques across the country condemned the cartoons.
“Oh God, please punish those who dared to publish these sacrilegious cartoons … Give enough power to the Muslim countries and enable them to take revenge,” said Qari Saeed Ullah, a prayer leader in Islamabad.
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