Indonesian protesters say anti-Islam film declares war

By AFP
Published: September 14, 2012
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Speaker called for expulsion of Americans from the country.  PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Speaker called for expulsion of Americans from the country. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

JAKARTA: More than 350 Muslim protesters and their supporters staged an anti-US demonstration in Jakarta Friday, spewing anger at America over an anti-Islam film.

Outside the US embassy in the Indonesian capital, the protesters – men and women with children in tow – carried banners that read “We condemn the insult against Allah’s messenger”, and the Quranic verse “There is no God but Allah”.

A speaker from the pro-Caliphate organisation Hizbut Tahrir that organised the protest, told the crowd: “This film insulted our prophet and we condemn it. The film is a declaration of war.”

The crowd shouted back: “Allahu akbar!” (God is greatest), while police clad in riot gear stood guard nearby.

Another speaker declared: “The US does not deserve to stay here,” as the crowd roared that Americans be expelled from the world’s largest Muslim nation.

Protests have erupted since Tuesday outside US diplomatic missions in several Arab and Muslim states against the low-budget movie “Innocence of Muslims”, made in the United States and deemed offensive to Islam.

Washington has sought to keep a lid on the demonstrations by spelling out that the controversial film which sparked the violence was made privately by a small group of individuals with no official backing.

As the Hizbut Tahrir protesters dispersed, another group of 100 demonstrators from the country’s minority Shias took their place, shouting “death to America”, and demanding that the film’s director be executed.

“Under Islamic law, the film director must be punished by death. We will keep protesting until the US government bans the film, apologises to all Muslims and prosecutes the film director,” Khadijah, one of the Shia protesters, told AFP.

Jakarta police spokesman Rikwanto, who goes by one name, said about 400 policemen had been deployed to guard security around the US Embassy in Jakarta. A strong police contingent, including dozens in riot gear, stood guard before the embassy grounds.

The embassy posted a new security message for US citizens on its website, saying that in light of the protests “we strongly encourage you to follow good personal security practices, maintain a heightened situational awareness, and remain vigilant of your surroundings at all times”.

The US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were killed when heavily-armed protesters launched a sustained four-hour attack on the US consulate in Benghazi late Tuesday.

In the Yemeni capital, police on Thursday shot dead four protesters and wounded 34 others when they opened fire on a crowd attempting to storm the US embassy.

In the Egyptian capital Cairo, police fired tear gas to disperse protesters outside the embassy, injuring more than 200 people, the health ministry there said.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Raw is War
    Sep 14, 2012 - 4:36PM

    this is insane.

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  • John B
    Sep 14, 2012 - 6:02PM

    The insanity is when the first group of protesters left(Sunni?), the Shia group joined later for the protests.

    Why do people bring their children to protests; so that they can use them as human shield and cry foul later when riot police disperse the crowd?

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  • Abdullah
    Sep 14, 2012 - 6:35PM

    Respect for Hizb ut Tahrir. They are everywhere in the world and say the truth.

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  • realist
    Sep 15, 2012 - 8:31AM

    Ah! So the muslims got another issue to protest. First it was the muslims of Burma, now it is this. I think all non-Muslim countries should outsource the security job to the Chinese. They sure know how to deal with these muslims. See, there is no protest for how the Chinese deal with the Uighur Muslims. India, please outsource the security to the Chinese. In no time, we will have peace.

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