ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI - Hundreds of people demonstrated across Pakistan on Friday to denounce an anti-Islam movie, with some urging death for the film-maker and others demanding the expulsion of US diplomats.
The low-budget movie, entitled “Innocence of Muslims”, which has sparked fury across the Muslim world, utters extreme blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Police beefed up security around US missions in the country after violent attacks on American consulates and embassies in Egypt, Libya and Yemen this week, but protests in the country’s major cities on Friday passed off largely without incident.
In Lahore, Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed led a 500-strong rally against the film. Saeed urged the government to summon the American ambassador to protest over the film.
The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) organized a rally in Karachi, where around 700 party activists and supporters gathered with banners and placards bearing anti-US and anti-Israel slogans. “Hang the filmmaker...hang the apostate,” they chanted. “Jihad is the only treatment to cure American cancer,” another slogan said.
Around 400 protesters rallied in front of Islamabad’s Lal Masjid after Friday prayers, following a call from JI. They called for the handover of Terry Jones, an American Christian pastor linked with the film, who has drawn protests in the past for burning the Holy Quran.
In Peshawar and other main cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, several religious and political groups staged anti-US demonstrations. The protesters condemned the sacrilegious film and demanded the blasphemous filmmaker be handed over to them. They also called on the government to register a strong protest with the US government.