CAIRO – Here’s a look at protests and reaction across the Middle East and elsewhere Sunday over an anti-Muslim film produced in the United States:
ALGERIA: Representatives of the Islamist bloc in Algeria’s parliament denounced the film during a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Henry Ensher. The group, Alliance of Green Algeria, criticized the film for “exacerbating the clash of civilizations rather than blessing reconciliation and dialogue,” according to a statement from one of the three parties that make up the bloc. The lawmakers are asking the U.S. to sanction the filmmakers and to prevent the film’s distribution.
IRAN: In Iran, thousands of clerics gathered in their seminaries across the country to protest the film. Ahmad Khatami, an ally of the country’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told a gathering in Qom that protests should continue to teach the U.S. and Israel that they are not capable of confronting Islam. Also in Iran, a semi-official religious foundation in Iran has increased a reward it had offered for the killing of British author Salman Rushdie to $3.3 million from $2.8 million, a newspaper reported. The hardline Jomhoori Eslami daily and other newspapers reported the move appeared to be linked to protests over the film.
NIGER: The Islamic Council of Niger has asked Muslims not to attack Christian churches to protest the recent film. Niger’s religious leader proposed the creation of a confederation that would include representatives of all religions to foster “dialogue ... and peaceful coexistence between religions.”