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Muhammad Caricature Watch: Weekend Protests in Pakistan “Spinning Out of Control”

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Pakistani protesters burn the US flag during a rally called to condemn the publication of cartoons depicting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 in Karachi, Pakistan.

ASSociated Press: Pakistani Forces Seek to Quell Protests

Pakistani security forces arrested hundreds of Islamic hard-liners, virtually sealed off the capital and used gunfire and tear gas Sunday to quell protests against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Pakistan had banned protests after riots killed five people in two cities last week.

On Sunday, thousands of police and paramilitary troops manned armored personnel carriers and sandbag bunkers in and around Islamabad to block a planned rally organized by a coalition of hardline Islamic parties that sympathizes with the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan and is fiercely anti-American.

As roadblocks went up around the capital, authorities declared they would arrest anyone joining a gathering of more than five people.

Maulana Fazlur Rahman, an opposition leader who denounced the government ban as unconstitutional, was allowed to stage a small rally with eight other opposition lawmakers and a few supporters. They chanted “God is great!” and “Any friend of America is a traitor.”

Now, Flap understands……..demonstrations organized by hardline Pro-Taliban and thus Pro-Al Qaeda folks.

Flap thought these protests were over the insensitivity towards the Islamic faith or the path toward Islamic idolatry.

NOPE – just ANTI-AMERICAN.

But police fired tear gas and guns to chase off hundreds of stone-throwing protesters who tried to join the rally and then enter an enclave where most foreign embassies are. The three-hour clash left the street littered with rocks and spent tear gas shells. An Associated Press reporter saw two injured police, one bleeding from his head, and several injured protesters.

Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said police used tear gas, but denied they fired guns. The private Geo TV network said officers fired rubber bullets.

Qazi Hussain Ahmad, a top leader of the hardline Islamic coalition, the Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal (United Action Forum), was confined to his Lahore residence and others were detained or told to stay at home, police said.

“These people could create problems of law and order,” said Chaudhry Shafqaat Ahmed, chief investigator of the Lahore police.

Law and order is what Pakistan needs.

An angry Pakistani mob throw rocks at the burning St. Saviour’s church in Sukkar, 560 kilometers (348 miles) northeast of Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, Feb 19, 2006.About 400 people attacked the church in Sukkur, a city in southern Sindh province, after accusations that a local Christian man had burned pages from the Quran, said Akbar Arian, chief of police in the area. The incident came amid angry protests across Pakistan over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published in Western newspapers.

Hundreds of Muslims burned a church in the southern city of Sukkur. No worshippers were inside at the time, but one person was hurt afterward when police fired tear gas.

Local police chief Akbar Arian said the riot was not sparked by the cartoons but by allegations that a local Christian had burned pages of Islam’s holy book, the Quran — another sign of the heightened sectarian tensions in this overwhelmingly Muslim nation.

All of these protesters are “THUGS” and Pakistan’s government has an obligation to maintain order.

Excuses for violence are JUST excuses.

Stay tuned……..


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