Report By: Nina Rai
Beirut, Sept. 16, 2012
The chief of Shi'ite's radical group in Lebanon,, has on Sunday given a call for mass protests across the country against the controversial film insulting Prophet Mohammad.
In a televised address, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said: "The whole world should know that the Prophet [Mohammad] has followers who would not remain silent over this insult."
The first Hezbollah protest is to be held tomorrow (Monday, Sept. 17) in Beirut’s southern suburb of Dahiyeh at 5 p.m., after which many other protests will be carried out in South Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley through out the week.
On a cautionary note, the Hezbollah chief urged: "Muslims and Christians must remain vigilant in order to refrain from sliding towards strife.” He said that the film-makers and U.S. must both be held accountable for the Internet video. “All these developments are being orchestrated by U.S. intelligence," blamed Nasrallah.
The Hezbollah chief said that despite the protests the U.S. government is continuing to broadcast the film, under the pretext of ‘freedom of speech', and demanded its immediate withdrawal.
Nasrallah exhorted the Muslim diaspora in America to exert pressure upon their government to withdraw the film. In his opinion, the rationale behind making the film was to cause dissensions between Muslims and Christians.
“The anger of Arab [protesters] focused on the U.S. and Israel and did not turn against Christians, which shows the awareness of Muslims and Christians equally,” surmised Nasrallah.
The Hezbollah chief also made a suggestion to issue a global resolution that criminalizes offences against religions. According to him, the level of insult against Islam in the film was “dangerous and unprecedented.”
Without mincing any words he called for “punishing those who are responsible for the film and all who protect them, especially the U.S.” Nasrallah also gave a call for protests around Lebanon, with demonstrations carried out in the southern coastal town of Tyre on Wednesday, and in the northern town of Hermel, on Sunday.
A spate of anti-American protests swept across the world particularly the Middle East, over a film, circulating on the Internet called the "Innocence of Muslims", which has outraged Muslims for denigrating the Prophet.
The provocative video depicts Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer, buffoon, brutal killer and child molester. Islam clearly forbids adverse depiction of the Prophet and any blasphemy thereof is an incendiary act according to many Muslims.
The offensive video sparked off fury across the Middle East this week, with protesters attacking U.S. Embassies and burning American flags. Last week, the American Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya.
At least nine persons lost their lives in protests in several countries on Friday, as protests subsided over the weekend. The Hezbuloh chief's speech came a few hours afterleft Lebanon for the Vatican, ending a three-day trip in which he called for Arab leaders to serve justice and peace. Nasrallah in a statement last week stated that he supported the pontiff’s visit.
Check Video: Nasrallah speech on anti-Islam film - 16 Sept., 2012
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