Muslims in several countries are protesting a film by a Dutch lawmaker’s film, saying it insults the Quran.
Hundreds of Islamists staged angry protests across Pakistan after the release of the film and a militant allegedly linked to al-Qaida’s No 2 leader also warned that the film will spark reprisal attacks.
Small groups of demonstrators, mostly followers of hard-line religious groups, rallied in major cities, demanding Pakistan cut diplomatic relations with the Netherlands. A banner at one demonstration read, ” We hate the uncivilized West.”
The film has verses from the Quran against a background of violent images of terrorist attacks.
These include the 9/11 attacks in the US and the 2004 Madrid train bombings. The film starts and ends with the controversial Danish cartoons on Prophet Mohammad.
Protests have been simmering for weeks over the recent republication in Danish newspapers of cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, and authorities are concerned the Dutch film could spark the kind of violent unrest that the cartoons originally provoked two years ago.
A militant believed linked to al-Qaida’s deputy chief Ayman al-Zawahri told The Associated Press in the northwestern city of Peshawar last week militants would mount revenge attacks against foreigners because of Wilders’ film.
“Foreigners will be attacked. The situation will change, change, change,” said Qari Mohammed Yusuf, whose also said his two brothers died fighting alongside al-Zawahri.
The softer side of Islam.