Anti-Islamic film: Protests reach India now

NEW DELHI: Outrage over a controversial movie that mocks Prophet Muhammed and hurts the sentiments of millions of Muslims worldwide has now swept on to Indian shores with lawyers in Jammu and Kashmir protesting against the film in Srinagar.

Dozens of Kashmiri protestors raised anti-US slogans against the controversial film "Innocence of Muslims" after Friday prayers at several places in Srinagar in the afternoon.

Protests were held in Nowhatta, Maisuma, Hazratbal, Alamgiri Bazaar, Abi Guzar, Sarai Bala and some other places in Srinagar.

Protestors also torched the US flag at some places in the city.

Reports from north Kashmir's Baramulla town said that dozens of people gathered in the town square after Friday prayers to protest the blasphemous film.

Heavy deployment of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had been made at sensitive places by the authorities as separatists called for protests and rallies after Friday prayers.

Earlier, dozens of local lawyers boycotted the courts in the city and carried out a protest march in the Civil Lines area here.

The J&K government has asked the central government to block access to an anti-Islam video posted on YouTube, saying that it can potentially cause a law and order problem in the state.

"We have approached the central government asking them to block the 'Innocence of Muslims' video on YouTube, as it can cause a law and order problem in the state," Home Commissioner B.R. Sharma told IANS.

Protest spread all over

Anrgy demonstrations against the film has spread to several countries across the Middle East and North Africa.


The US ambassador to Libya was killed during a protest against the film on Tuesday at the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi when Islamists armed with guns, mortars and grenades staged military-style assaults on the mission and a safe house refuge.


Egyptian protesters angry at a film they say insults Prophet Mohammad hurled stones on Friday at a line of police in Cairo blocking their way to the US embassy, which was attacked earlier this week.

Police in riot gear fired tear gas and threw stones back at the demonstrators. A burnt-out car was overturned in the middle of the street which leads to the fortified embassy from Tahrir Square.

One banner held aloft by demonstrators read: "It is the duty of all Muslims and Christians to kill Morris Sadek and Sam Bacile and everyone who participated in the film."


Security forces in Yemen blocked streets surrounding the US embassy in Sanaa on Friday, bracing for more protests against a film deemed blasphemous to Islam, a day after demonstrators stormed the heavily fortified compound and clashed with police.

Early on Friday, around 20 to 30 people had gathered on the north side of the embassy, carrying placards and shouting slogans against the film, which depicts the Prophet Mohammad in terms which many Muslims have described as crude and insulting.


Iranian students protested outside the Swiss embassy in Tehran on Thursday against the anti-Islam film. Members of one student organisation present called on Muslim nations to "cut their relations with the United States and demonstrate their religious values against the colonial system", Fars said.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday the main suspects behind the "crazy and hateful" making of the film were the American government and Zionism.

"If American politicians are honest in their claims that they were not involved, they have to hold responsible those who committed this obscene crime ... and their financial supporters," the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying in a statement.


Around 200 demonstrators gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Kuwait shouting slogans such as "God is great." They hoisted banners, one of which bread in English: "USA stop the bullshit. Respect us."

Kuwaiti riot police encircled the crowd of men protesting peacefully in their traditional Kuwaiti dress.

On Thursday, the US consulate in Berlin was partially evacuated after an employee fell ill on opening a suspicious envelope. Bangladeshi Islamists tried to march on the U.S. embassy in Dhaka and Iranian students protested in Tehran.

With anti-US protests over an anti-Islam video spreading, Washington braced for a growing furore threatening US interests abroad and at home ahead of Friday, the traditional Muslim day of prayers.

Amid continuing protests over the US made film, 'Innocence of Muslims', ridiculing Prophet Mohammed, the US Department of Homeland Security and FBI warned Thursday that the outrage, and dangers to Americans could worsen in the coming days.

"The risk of violence could increase both at home and abroad as the film continues to gain attention," the US agencies said in a joint intelligence bulletin.

In addition to stressing there's no excuse for violence targeting US diplomatic missions, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called the video "disgusting and reprehensible" and said it appears to aim "to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage."

What is the film about?

The controversial, low-budget film shows Prophet Muhammed in poor light, casting aspersions on his societal and personal behaviour. Such a representation of the Prophet is considered blasphemous by devout Muslims and this was the primary reason that sparked off the violent protests in West Asia against the film.

Clips of the movie, posted on YouTube under several titles, including 'Innocence of Muslims', portrayed Prophet Mohammed engaged in crude behavior, enraging people.

Several media houses in the United States reported that the film was produced by Sam Bacile, a man who identified himself as an Israeli-American property developer.

He told news organisations that the film cost $5 million to make, which was paid by around 100 Jewish donors, according to a Reuters report.

He added that he had worked with 60 actors and 45 crew members to make the film in a three-month period last year in California.

"My plan is to make a series spanning 200 hours on the same subject," he told a US-based news agency.

How did the film become controversial?

A 14-minute clip of the film had been posted online for weeks before apparently triggering violent demonstrations at the US embassy in Cairo and consulate in Benghazi, Libya and Yemen.

The New York Times reported that the film attracted attention only when a clip from the film dubbed in Arabic was posted online.

The film became a rage when a some Egyptian news channel began airing the clip saying that it was an American ploy to denigrade the prophet. (Agencies_