SBY Urges UN To Stop Religious Defamation

SBY Urges UN To Stop Religious Defamation

Jakarta : Indonesia | Sep 17, 2012 at 7:00 AM PDT
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President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) urged the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Monday to issue edicts against religious defamation in the wake of global protests ignited by a film insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

“I call on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the UN to mull over international protocol to prevent such things like this from happening again,” Yudhoyono said, referring to the anti-Islam film “The Innocence of Muslims.”

The president said that religious defamation should be condemned because it hurts the hearts of religious people, disturbs the peace and can trigger bloody conflicts, in a speech before a national meeting of the Nahdlatul Ulama in Cirebon, West Java,

The controversial film has been blocked in Indonesia at the behest of the Indonesian government. The film, which was produced by a self-proclaimed Coptic Christian American, set off a wave of anti-US protests across the Middle East and Indonesia and reportedly inspired an attack on the US Embassy in Libya that resulted in the death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Target U.S. Symbols

Meanwhile, protests turned violent in Indonesia on Monday as hard-liners clashed with police outside the US Embassy in Jakarta and vandalized a consulate in Medan, North Sumatra, and American fast food restaurants in Java.

About 1,000 protestors hurled stones and Molotov cocktails in a clash with police outside the US Embassy in Central Jakarta Monday afternoon during a protest against an anti-Islam film.

Police officers arrested four protesters were deemed to anarchy in a demonstration protesting the film "Innocence of Muslims" in front of the Embassy of the United States (U.S.) in Jalan Merdeka Selatan.

At least two police officers was seen bleeding from the head and being carried to safety by fellow officers. Protesters also tried to ignite a fire truck parked outside the embassy and Molotov cocktails exploded against a fence surrounding the embassy. Police used a bullhorn to call for calm.

The demonstration started off peacefully as the group of several hundred protesters, many dressed in white, marched toward the mission on Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan. But the protest turned violent outside the embassy as members of the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Islamic Peoples Forum (FUI) flooded the scene, throwing rocks at the embassy and police.

The demonstrations were the latest protests in Jakarta against “The Innocence of Muslim,” a film that insulted the Prophet Muhammad and set off a series of violent protests across the globe.

Demonstrations were also held Monday in the cities of Medan and Bandung. Over the weekend in the central Java town of Solo, protesters stormed KFC and McDonald’s restaurants, forcing customers to leave and management to close the stores.

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Jakarta U.S. Embassy post-riot
The situation in front of the U.S. Embassy post-riot that occurred during a demonstration to protest anti-Islam film, Monday, September 17, 2012. (Antara Photo)
widyanto juniardhie is based in Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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