THOUSANDS of people demonstrated across Bahrain yesterday against the controversial American movie defaming Prophet Mohammed. Many non-Muslims took part in the rallies, held after Friday prayers, to condemn the movie, which they described as insulting and hateful.
The demonstrations, mainly in Duraz, Muharraq, Tubli, Riffa, Isa Town and parts of Manama, were led by top Sunni and Shi’ite clergymen.
People chanted slogans against the US and Israel for what they described was a deliberate attack on Prophet Mohammed.
They also demanded action from the international community against those behind the “atrocious” movie, written and directed by an Israeli-American.
The rallies were largely peaceful, although the flags of both countries were burnt.
However, one of the rallies opposite the US Embassy in Zinj, attended by masked people waving Al Qaeda flags, was cut short when it threatened to get out of control.
Police later beefed up security around the embassy and surrounding area amid fears of evening protests.
Al Asala Bloc president MP Abdulhaleem Murad apologised to peaceful demonstrators for the trouble.
People took to the streets after imams in mosques across Bahrain dedicated the bulk of their sermons to the subject.
Influential Shi’ite spiritual leader and Olama’a Religious Council chairman Sayed Majeed Al Mishal said the worldwide outrage would have happened if the movie defamed any other religious figure.
“Prophet Mohammed is not just Islam’s biggest symbol, but his teachings and principles are adored and respected by people of all faiths,” he told the GDN as he demonstrated in Duraz.
“If this movie depicted Jesus, Moses, David or any other messenger of God we would have taken a similar stand.”
Mr Al Mishal called for the creators of the movie to be hauled before the international courts. “Freedom of speech stops when it breaches the rights of others and here it breached the rights of many as it broke the basic principle of religious tolerance,” he said.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE GULF DAILY NEWS