» 09/17/2012 09:43 LEBANON - ISLAM Hezbollah launches a week of protests against anti-Islam film by Paul Dakiki The leader of the Shiite militants waited for Pope Benedict XVI’s departure from Lebanon. Seven days of demonstrations around the country. Islamic countries must apply for an international law prohibiting insults to Islam and other religions. In Libya 50 people arrested and detained linked to the U.S. consulate attack, where Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed. Libyan President says leaders of the attack, planned months before, are members of al Qaeda.
Beirut (AsiaNews) - A few hours after the
conclusion of Benedict XVI's visit to Lebanon,
in a televised address the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, announced seven
days of protests against a blasphemous film about Muhammad and against the United States,
where it was produced.
Nasrallah pointed out that he intentionally waited for the departure of Benedict
XVI before launching the initiative. " Those who should be held
accountable, punished, prosecuted and boycotted are those directly responsible
for this film and those who stand behind them and those who support and protect
them, primarily the United
States of America". He said that Arab and
Islamic governments should press for an enforceable international law banning
insults to Islam and other religions."
Nasrallah also asked Muslim Arab countries to press for an international law
prohibiting insults to Islam and other religions.
The protests will be held this afternoon in Beirut,
in the southern suburbs, where Hezbollah has a very strong following, on Wednesday
in Tyre, Baalbek
Friday and Saturday in Bint Jbeil, Sunday in Hermel and eastern Bekaa.
He also asked Muslims around the world to demonstrate against the film which, he described as "the worst attack ever on
Islam, worse than The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, the burning of
the Koran in Afghanistan
and the cartoons in the European media."
Just a few days ago, the United
States launched some sanctions against the Hezbollah
leader Nasrallah and two others for their support for Bashar al-Assad. Since
2001, the U.S.
considers Hezbollah a terrorist group.
In Lebanon, in these days of
the Pope's visit there were no demonstrations against the film except in
northern Lebanon, in Tripoli, where the
population is predominantly Sunni.
But the protests against the blasphemous film are spreading in much of the Islamic
world, supported mostly by fundamentalist Muslims. This morning, about 1,000
people demonstrated in Kabul (Afghanistan). Yesterday
a rally in Karachi (Pakistan) ended with clashes
between police and demonstrators, with one dead.
Most governments in the Islamic world, while condemning the film, however, are
distancing themselves from the violence and protests that followed, most
notably Libya, where on the
night of September 11, the U.S.
consulate in Benghazi
was attacked and Ambassador Chris Stevens and three staff members killed.
Yesterday, on a US
television broadcast, president
interim assembly Magarief Mohammed said that his
government has arrested 50 people connected to the consulate attack. Magarief
said some of those arrested are not Libyans, and are linked to al-Qaida, from Mali and Algeria. He called the others who
were arrested "sympathizers of al Qaeda."
But Libyan interior minister Fawzi Abdel A'al has said that only four people
were arrested, while the other - about 50 - have only been detained for
According Magarief, the attack on the consulate was planned some months before
by "foreigners" who used protests against the blasphemous film to
attack the target.
In contrast, Susan Rice, U.S.
ambassador to the UN, said yesterday that the government's preliminary
information indicates that the attack on
the consulate was not planned.