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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
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

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