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Egypt PM says 'number' of US embassy rioters were paid
Hisham Qandil tells BBC Arabic that a number of individuals involved in Cairo's US embassy clashes were paid, calls on US to take necessary steps to end anti-Islam insults
Ahram Online, Saturday 15 Sep 2012
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Hisham Qandil
Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil speaks at a press conference (Photo: Reuters)

A "number of protesters" were paid to wreak havoc at the US embassy in Cairo, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil has said.

"There is information confirmed that a number of the protesters were paid," he told BBC Arabic without elaboration.

Hundreds of demonstrators initially converged on the US embassy near downtown Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square earlier this week to protest the US-made film "The Innocence of Muslim" that portrays the Prophet Mohammed as a womaniser, a murderer and a fool.

Relentless clashes against police forces ensued, with protests showing no signs of abating as confrontations left a 35-year-old man dead and more than 250 injured, including 53 security personnel.

In another interview with BBC Arabic, Qandil gave three reasons behind the US embassy clashes in Cairo: "I can start by saying that this event is attached to several unfortunate events. The first unfortunate event of course was this movie.

"It was disgusting, and insulted the beliefs of many Muslims and, unjustified as well. So that was the first unfortunate event. The second event, related to the second part of your question, is linking this movie which was that is the work of a bunch of amateurs, wicked, you know they wanted to insult a very respectable religion.

"That movie linked to the US government was another unfortunate event because it couldn’t be linked to the US government and that was clearly mentioned by Madame Clinton publicly and privately when I spoke to her after this thing started.

"The third unfortunate event is that the peaceful opposition turned out to be violent expressions, which is also very unfortunate… I have to mention that the Egyptian authorities have taken proper measures to protect the diplomatic missions in Cairo and on Egyptian soil to ensure that people and the missions are safe and well protected." 

When the prime minister was asked whether the US should make amendments to its laws governing freedom of speech and expression, he replied,"I think we need to work out something around this because we cannot wait and see this happen again."

Qandil also called on the US "to take the necessary measures to ensure insulting billions of people – one and a half billion people – and their beliefs does not happen and people pay for what they do and at the same time make sure that the reflections of the true Egyptian and Muslims is well [represented] in Western media."



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13



Logan
18-09-2012 08:30am
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Or Else?
Or else what? If Israel can regularly beat Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan at the same time, what is there to worry about. If they don't like free speech then don't migrate to western countries.
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12



Bara
17-09-2012 02:15pm
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Why insult
Desperate christians and jews have nothing to challange Islam and the prophet intellectually that they had resort to insults. But for sure this will lead many learn about the propher and Islam and will will result in another exodus from christianity toward Islam.
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11



NK
17-09-2012 12:43pm
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Get serious.
Free speech is paramount. "You cannot ask us to sacrifice our freedoms so as not to offend savages" and ignorants.
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Atef
17-09-2012 07:25pm
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Really
Try to question a historical event like the holocaust and see what happens to you, legally! Or try to say that [our beloved] Mary is a prostitute in Mexico City and see how people there would cheer for your freedom of speech values.
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Cairo resident
17-09-2012 11:56am
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Appalled at disgusting overeactions
No matter what you think on this issue, criticism of government, religion, culture and society is protected under FREEDOM OF SPEECH in most Developed world countries. This is something that very few outside of the Western world seem to fully understand. Like everything in life it comes with both positive and negative benefits. The real question is why don't we see Buddhists, Bahai's, Jew's, Hindu's, Athiest's and Christian's burning embassies on a global scale when their cultures and beliefs are criticised and made fun of?
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9



Mark Croy
16-09-2012 01:52pm
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The Prime Minister still doesn't get it....
P.M. Hisham Qandil still doesn't seem to understand how America works...."to take the necessary measures to ensure insulting billions of people – one and a half billion people – and their beliefs does not happen and people pay for what they do and at the same time make sure that the reflections of the true Egyptian and Muslims is well [represented] in Western media." The United States can do NOTHING to stop these horrid people from filming, printing, recording or saying what they please. It is impossible under a system that includes freedom of conscious to "take the necessary measures". There are no measures to take. The American people can and do reject this slander of Islam and any future slander of Islam. However, we can not and would not stop the production of such a travesty. We simply are not able to lay aside a core belief to satisfy this request. It would make us something we do not want to be....a country that decides what its people may say or think. We will condemn. We will
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8



Free Lady
16-09-2012 12:00pm
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Islam is the Solution or Was a solution?
Pre-election MB and Salafist Islamist campaign convinced Egyptian public that Islam is the solution for every Egyptian problem. But now it seems same MB and Salafist are requesting desperately for American help not Allah's help. Their slogan of "Islam is the solution" is becoming history and they are following even in worse ways Mubarak period drum beat.
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Dr Sonia Allam
16-09-2012 10:42am
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Encouraging peace
There is nothing the Middle East needs more right now than peace and stability, unity and harmony of all its citizens, Muslim and all those of other faiths. I'm sure that for all of those who reflect more deeply, it becomes increasingly clear that this "film", which we know has been manufactured by thugs and criminals, was funded and masterminded by those with the intention of causing the very scenes we are currently witnessing on the streets and around US embassies in the Middle East and beyond. The motive of this film was never about freedom of speech, but instead incitement of hatred (on all sides), worsening of islamophobia in the West and giving credence and justification to further interventions and injustices against Muslim lands and peoples. It is absolutely right to protest against this abhorrent film, but this should be done peacefully and intelligently, by spreading the information exposing this for what it really is, and in doing so, demonstrating that we are setting th
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jane doe
16-09-2012 07:24am
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no way
Drop dead! In Egypt anti-semitism in not punished. I will insult Islam as long as anti-Jewish and anit-gay hate speech goes unpunished in Egypt.
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Mona
16-09-2012 03:22pm
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drop doe
Arabs are Semites. Read Anthropologie
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Dr. Malek Muhammad Towghi --USA
15-09-2012 10:48pm
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What about the Salafis?
What about 'the number' of the Salafis in your own cabinet and administration who sent their own fanatic thugs to attack the foreign embassies and consulates, promising them ample rewards including KAWAA'IB-a ATRAABaa in the Day Hereafter??
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Wardany, USA
15-09-2012 10:28pm
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Hateful Man
I met him once in Riverside COunty to buyu a used car. I did not trust him for some reasons. He kept cussing Egypt and Egyptians and want civil war to ignite. I asked him to leave my shop. I now know that he was indicted in 1990 and 2010 for internet fraud. I am Egyptian and love all the prophets. I bid you peace.
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