Malaysian Muslims protest anti-Islam film
Muslims in Malaysia protest against the anti-Islam film and describe its makers as 'Christian extremists'
AFP , Friday 14 Sep 2012
Malaysian Muslims shout a slogan as they march to the U.S. Embassy during a protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (Photo: AP)
Muslims held demonstrations across Malaysia on Friday, calling for the United States to prevent distribution of an anti-Islam film they said was part of a plot by "Christian extremists".
Violent protests that began in Egypt and Libya on Tuesday over the amateur, privately-produced US movie "Innocence of Muslims" had already spread to several other Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
But Friday marked the first, albeit peaceful, demonstrations in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
They included a group of about 30 people representing various Islamic organisations who marched to the US embassy in the capital Kuala Lumpur.
They handed over a memo to an embassy official calling for the US to take the clip off YouTube, prevent it being released, and to try the filmmakers for "crimes against human rights" and "inciting Muslims".
"They have insulted the Prophet Mohammed, portraying him as a sex maniac and gay," said demonstrator Aminuddin Yahya.
However, he said the protesters were not against Christianity and condemned violence in Libya that lead to the deaths of the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans.
A crowd also held a demonstration at the Batu Caves, a popular tourist spot outside the capital, and Malaysian media reported another protest in the northern city of Ipoh.
The opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said protests would be held at other cities around the country but AFP could not immediately confirm how widespread they were. There have been no reports of violence.
The low-budget movie portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent, pokes fun at the Prophet Mohammed and touches on themes of paedophilia and homosexuality.
Angry demonstrators have stormed the US embassy in Yemen and stoned Washington's mission in Cairo.
At least 60 percent of Malaysians are Muslims, but there is also a sizeable Christian minority.
There is mild tension between the two communities, with some Islamic groups in recent years accusing Christians of a concerted effort to proselytise Muslims, which is illegal in Malaysia.