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» 09/21/2012
ISLAM
A day of tensions and clashes over anti-Islam film
by Paul Dakiki
In Pakistan began the "Day of love for the Prophet." Violence in Nowshera. Yesterday clashes with police in Islamabad, with 50 wounded. U.S. embassies closed in France and in many countries. The video of the blasphemous film blocked. Together, Christians, Muslims and politicians ask the UN for international guidelines against defamation of religions.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - In many Muslim countries, the Friday prayer isin danger of turning into a day of violence. The scandal caused by the US youtube film and Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Mohammed in France, is likely to become an excuse for extremists to exploit. Many diplomatic missions of the United States and France were closed for fear of attacks similar to those that led to the death the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. So far, 30 people have lost their lives because of the blasphemous film.

In Pakistan, the government has declared today a "Day of love for the Prophet" and called for peaceful demonstrations. Parades have developed in Muzaffarabad, Rawalpindi, Nowshera, Jacobabad and other cities. But already there are reports of violence against some government buildings in Nowshera. Yesterday in Islamabad a police station was set on fire and there were 50 wounded. Today, warehouses, shops and markets are closed and in 15 cities, the government has blocked the use of mobile phones.

So far there has been no violence in Malaysia and Indonesia, but the U.S. embassies in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta were closed.

Yesterday, there were demonstrations in Kabul (Afghanistan) and Tehran. In Zaria (northern Nigeria), thousands of Muslims demonstrated and burned Israeli and American flags.

Many governments are trying to curb the spread of the 15 minute film posted on Youtube. Pakistan and Sudan have blocked access to the film. Google (which owns YouTube), for its part has restricted access to the film in Egypt, Libya, Malaysia and Indonesia.

As the climate of tension grows, the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon told reporters that "freedom of expression, which is a fundamental right and a privilege, should not be misused to commit a outrageous and shameful act," such as the anti-Islam film.

Many nations are now pushing for a UN directive prohibiting offense to the religious symbols of Islam and all religions. In Lebanon, the proposal is supported by the March 14 movement (Christians and Sunnis) and the March 8 coalition (Christians, Hezbollah and Druze), as well as a group of Greek-orthodox politicians. The Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai suggests a UN law against the defamation of religions, for the preservation of harmony between religions.

A similar question has been expressed by various Islamic organizations. Some Anglican bishops of North Africa have written an open letter to Ban Ki-moon asking for international guidelines that "outlaw the intentional deliberate insult and defamation of people (like the prophets), symbols, texts and expressions of faith that are considered sacred by believers. "

 


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See also
10/01/2010 TURKEY
Turkish nationalist party organizes Friday prayer in former church-mosque
09/18/2012 INDIA - ISLAM
Card. Gracias: film anti-Muhammad inexcusable, but also violence
by Nirmala Carvalho
09/22/2012 PAKISTAN - ISLAM
Islamabad, "mindless" violence on the day of love for the Prophet: 23 dead and 200 wounded
02/02/2006 ISLAM
Threats and dismissals over Muhammad cartoon strips
09/13/2012 EGYPT
Egyptian Catholic Church spokesman: Pope must go to Lebanon even if the situation is tense

Editor's choices
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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