City Muslims join uproar

2012-09-29 00:00

RAIN failed to deter hundreds of Muslims who marched in Pietermaritzburg yesterday in protest against a video produced in the U.S., mocking Prophet Mohammed.

The 14-minute film clip was posted on YouTube in July and has already had more than 14 million views. It depicts the Prophet as a womaniser, a religious fraud and a child molester.

Around the world, Muslim sentiment has often turned violent, with riots outside various U.S. embassies in the Middle East.

Yesterday’s march to the Premier’s Office from East Street was organised by People Against War. It was peaceful, as men, women and children chanted “Insulting of any God’s prophets is not freedom of speech”.

They presented a memorandum that read: “Every now and then, distasteful, biased, unpleasant writings, cartoons and depictions against Islam and Prophet Muhammad are published in the mass media.”

The statement added that the film, traumatised, violated and depressed every believing Muslim.

Vuso Shababala, special adviser to KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize, said he appreciated that the march was peaceful.

“We shall definitely take the matter up to our Department of International Relations and Co-operation to look at the issue,” he added.

A Californian man behind the video, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was detained on Thursday. Nakoula, originally from Egypt, is a Coptic Christian who violated his probabtion after being convicted of bank fraud.

Vilolent protests shook Pakistan’s cities on September 21. About 23 people were left dead and more than 200 injured. The same day, thousands of protesters in Benghazi, Libya, seized control of several militia headquarters, including the headquarters of Ansar al-Sharia, the Islamist militia that has been linked to the attack on the United States diplomatic mission.

On September 11, armed Islamic militants stormed and burned the American Consulate in Benghazi, killing the American ambassador, ­J. Christopher Stevens, and three staff members.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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