1 000s in Nigerian protest anti-Islam film

2012-09-20 16:01

Zaria - Thousands of Muslims marched in the Nigerian city of Zaria and burnt US and Israeli flags on Thursday to protest a US-made anti-Islam movie that has drawn demonstrations in various countries.

The protesters under the auspices of the pro-Iranian Shiite group Islamic Movement of Nigeria carried banners and placards denouncing the United States and Israel while calling for the prosecution of the film producers.

They dragged the US and Israeli flags along the dusty streets and burnt them at the end of the 10km march amidst cries of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

"The film, apart from outward mockery on tenets and beliefs of Islam, presented Prophet Muhammad in a display of an unspeakable immoral manner and personality," read a leaflet circulated by the group during the protest.

Armed policemen in vans escorted the protesters to ward off potential violence in the northern city that is home to Nigeria's Vice President Namadi Sambo.

The city has seen violent attacks blamed on Boko Haram Islamists, including gun attacks on Sambo's house.

Last week, Muslims in the central city of Jos as well as the northern cities of Katsina and Sokoto poured into the streets in protest against the movie without any incident, although soldiers dispersed the protesters in Jos.

The crudely made "Innocence of Muslims", produced by US-based extremist Christians, has triggered protests in at least 20 countries since excerpts were posted online, and more than 30 people have been killed in violence linked to the film.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation with 160 million people, is roughly divided between a predominantly Muslim north and a largely Christian south, and Muslim-Christian tensions have often led to deadly confrontation.

An article in one of Nigeria's leading newspapers in 2002 considered blasphemous by Muslims helped spark deadly riots in the northern city of Kaduna in which 3 000 people were killed.

The article, published a few days before the Miss World Pageant planned to be held in Nigeria, said the Prophet Muhammad would have taken one of the beauty queens as a wife, in reaction to strong opposition by Muslims against hosting the pageant in the country.

  • Jaba - 2012-09-20 16:48

    Islamic groups issued an ultimatum to the Christians in Nigeria: “You have three days to leave (The North), or you’ll die.” Over 14,750 Christians have already been killed in Nigeria since the introduction of Sharia laws in 2001. Some 600 Christians have been slaughtered since last December and 350 churches have been demolished.

      richard.bosmano - 2012-09-20 17:04

      Religion of peace,.....cough cough

      steele.oyle - 2012-09-20 17:11

      anders breivick was a disciple of the "prince of peace"

  • juannepierre - 2012-09-20 17:20

    This makes me feel like I'm reading a history book about the dark ages. It's so barbaric, or at least Islam seems so barbaric... Like those Christians way back when.

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-09-20 22:09

    You are right juanne the religion of Islam has held back it's followers since the time it was written, the more we push forward in time the harder it is for Islam to remain under wraps that is why the revolts are happening, but it must change with time, as will all life if you don't evolve you die/extinct. This is the law of nature.

  • Bob.Cee123 - 2012-09-20 23:55

    This video pretty much sums up how most of the world feels right now

  • kafantaris2 - 2012-09-21 02:16

    John Stuart Mill proved long ago that the benefit of freedom of speech is that it assures the continuing growth and relevance of our most cherished institutions: “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

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