Vociferous protests against the anti-Islam movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’ continued in Peshawar on Saturday.
Jamiat Ittehadul Ulema (JIU) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chapter President Abdul Akbar Chitrali declared a bounty worth Rs10 million on the head of the film’s producer. Addressing a rally at Ring Road, he urged the government to expel the US ambassador to Pakistan if the US does not impose a ban on the film.
Meanwhile, religious parties, Christian minority groups, traders and civil society members staged protests condemning the movie that has been deemed offensive by the West and the Muslim world alike. They rebuked the filmmaker for hurting the sentiments of Muslims and sabotaging interfaith harmony across the world.
Members of JIU accused the US and Israel of conspiring against Islam and portraying Muslims as terrorists and extremists. They also set fire to American and Israeli flags.
Local traders, under the leadership Tajir Insaf Traders Union, held a rally from Ashraf Road towards Qissa Khwani Bazaar. Vendors closed shops and participated in the rally which passed through several small markets in the city, hampering business activities for a couple of hours.
The Insaf Lawyers’ Forum (ILF), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyer’s body, demanded of the federal and provincial governments to take up the issue of the film with the United Nations.
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas Student Federation (FSF) staged a demonstration outside the Peshawar Press Club, as did the Christian Coordination Council (CCC), a minority representative organisation.
Shehzad Ahmad, the Peshawar District president of Shabab Milli, the youth wing of Jamaat-e-Islaami, threatened to stage a sit-in outside the American Consulate in Peshawar.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2012.