Thousands rally in Karachi against anti-Islam film
30 September, 2012
KARACHI: Thousands of people thronged the streets of Karachi on Saturday in the latest protest against a US-made anti-Islam film, police and witnesses said.
The protesters, who included activists from Sunni Tehreek, wore green and white headbands as they marched through the MA Jinnah Road while some trampled on the American flag. They chanted slogans including "Hang the American filmmaker" and "We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the honour of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)".
"We strongly condemn this anti-Islam movie, it is a criminal act," Mufti Muneebur Rehman, a prominent religious leader told the rally, and called for a global ban on insulting "all prophets and messengers".
The protesters demanded the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) come forward over the issue. They announced that the person who killed the makers of the film would be bestowed with a reward of gold equal to his body weight.
Shafiq Ahmad, a senior police officer in Karachi, said there were at least 15,000 protesters, while rally organisers claimed "millions of people" participated.
Police beefed up security before the rally, while paramilitary forces were also deployed.
Meanwhile, during their annual coordination meeting, the foreign ministers of Organisation of Islamic Conference adopted a Pakistan-sponsored resolution strongly condemning the anti-Islam video and caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as sheer acts of incitement to hatred, discrimination and hostility towards Muslims, Islam and the Holy Prophet (PBUH), according to a statement on Saturday.
The OIC member states expressed concern over the continuing instances of "Islamophobic acts" under the pretext of freedom of expression, which violate freedom of religion guaranteed by international human rights standards.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar tabled the resolution before the meeting, stressing, "The international community needs to stand together to decry proponents of hatred working under the garb of freedom of expression."
Addressing the meeting convened on the sidelines of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, Khar urged OIC member states to take all measures, including implementation of necessary policies and legislation, against such acts in line with their obligations under international human rights law.
Khar also thanked the OIC for its unwavering support to the right of self-determination of Kashmiri people and resolution of this long-standing dispute in accordance with relevant UN resolutions. She concluded by stressing the need for unity and solidarity among Muslims.