KARACHI: Thousands of people thronged the streets of Karachi on Saturday in the latest protest against a US-made anti-Islam film, police and witnesses said.
The protesters, who included activists from Sunni Tehreek, wore green and white headbands as they marched through the city’s main MA Jinnah road while some trampled on the American flag.
They chanted slogans including “Hang the American film maker” and “We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the honour of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh)”.
“We strongly condemn this anti-Islam movie, it is a criminal act,” Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman told the rally, and called for a global ban on insulting “all prophets and messengers”.
Shafiq Ahmad, a senior police officer in Karachi, said there were “at least 15,000” protesters while rally organisers claimed “millions of people” participated.
Police beefed up security before the rally, while paramilitary forces were also deployed.
The rally was announced some days back but had to be postponed due to the government’s ban.
Members of Sunni Tehreek said Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad had given permission for the rally after talks were held and the rally was assured to be a peaceful one.
Sunni Tehreek leader Sarwat Aijaz Qadri had urged all Muslims to participate in the peaceful rally.
Strict security arrangements were made for the rally which is titled “Tahaffuz-e-Namoos-e-Mustafa (SAW)” [protecting the sanctity of the Prophet (pbuh)].
The crudely-made “Innocence of Muslims” movie has sparked angry and at times violent demonstrations across the globe.
Correction: The word ‘religious’ was earlier misspelt in the headline. The error has been rectified.