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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
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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