Muslims protest in Pakistan, Libya and elsewhere: photos, videos

Tens of thousands of people protested in Pakistan and other countries today, in some cases as part of continuing fallout over a YouTube video that portrayed the prophet Muhammad as a pedophile.

There were as many as 20 deaths in Pakistan, but other demonstrations were relatively peaceful. In Libya, citizens marched not in reaction to the video, but against the country’s extremist militias. Protests in the Middle East are common after Friday prayers.

Here is an illustrated run-down of Friday’s protests:

Click here to see more photos of the protests:


View Photo Gallery: The protests that started outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo have spread as far as India.

Pakistan:As many as 20 people were killed and dozens more injured in Pakistan, The Washington Post reported, “during protests on a government-declared holiday intended to encourage peaceful rallies against the incendiary YouTube video.” Police reportedly opened fire as mobs burned two moviehouses.

Pakistan had declared Friday a “Day of Love” for the prophet, and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said the attack on Muhammad was “an attack on the whole 1.5 billion Muslims,” Reuters reported.

Afghanistan: About 900 people gathered for a protest against the YouTube video in Kabul, chanting “death to America,” burning an effigy of President Obama and an American flag.

Iraq: About 3,000 people protested in the southern city of Basra. Demonstrators carried Iraqi flags and posters of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, chanting “death to America” and “no to America,” the AP reported.

Germany: In a potential repeat of the Charlie Hebdo incident, a German satire magazine called “Titanic” announced that it would publish an “Islam” issue this month. In addition, Germany’s interior ministry said it was postponing a campaign aimed at countering radical Islam among young people because of tensions over the video.

Germany closed its diplomatic missions in the Middle East on Friday, and several German diplomats received explicit instructions to avoid embassies, according to Der Spiegel.

Meanwhile, a small protest took place in Freiburg:


Bangladeshi Muslims burn a U.S. flag and a coffin of U.S. President Obama during a protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Sept. 21, 2012. (A.M. Ahad/AP)

The U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh warned that there will most likely be protests Saturday as well, and advised U.S. citizens to stay near their homes that day.

Egypt: Cairo was mostly quiet, with a few dozen people standing in front of the closed French Embassy to protest French newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s publishing of vulgar Muhammad cartoons this week:

Protesters chanted “wake up Egyptians, they are insulting your prophet,” according to Ahram online.


Libyans protest the Ansar al-Shariah Brigades and other Islamic militias in front of the Tebesty Hotel in Benghazi on Sept. 21. (Mohammad Hannon/AP)

The militia groups, which also detain and attack Libyan citizens, rose up after the fall of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and have since become more powerful than the government’s own security forces.

“ ‘No, no, to militias,’ the giant crowd chanted as it marched along a lake in the center of Benghazi, filling a broad boulevard,” the AP reported.

More pics from today’s anti-terrorism anti-militias demonstration in #Benghazi. Some estimated 30K + crowd. #Libya twitter.com/2011feb17/stat…

— HAMID حميد (@2011feb17) September 21, 2012

My cousin’s sign at #Benghazi’s demonstration today | “Our law is the law of Allah, not the law of the jungle” #Libya twitter.com/SumayyahG/stat…

— Suma. (@SumayyahG) September 21, 2012

Meanwhile, a new Pew Forum study has found that countries with “very high social hostilities” — defined as mob or sectarian violence and harassment for religious reasons — rose from 10 in 2007 to 15 in 2010. Five countries — Egypt, Nigeria, the Palestinian territories, Russia and Yemen — joined the “very high” category.

More world news coverage:

- Indian shopkeepers launch strike

- Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood caught between two poles

- In Thai shrimp sheds, exploited labor

- Read more headlines from around the world

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