'Innocence of Muslims' Protests: Movie Theaters in Pakistan Set on Fire
Reports mention police clashes with protesters despite U.S. government-paid commercials on Pakistani TV, in which President Barack Obama condemns the film.
Two movie theaters in Peshawar, Pakistan were set on fire Friday amid latest protests against anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims, Sky News reported.
And Reuters reported that protesters clashed with police on Friday amid fears of another day of riots.
Given that protests in Muslim countries often take place after the traditional Friday prayers, security forces in several Muslim countries have prepared for demonstrations and possible further riots against the video.
In Pakistan, the government even declared a "special day of love" for the Prophet Muhammad, according to the BBC. It said the goal was to motivate the country's peaceful majority and not allow extremists to turn protests into a display of anger.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government has paid for commercials on Pakistani TV, in which President Barack Obama condemns the film.
Riots kicked off by the amateur film made in the U.S. have included attacks on U.S., British and German embassies. The unrest has led to more than a couple of dozen of deaths across the Muslim world, according to latest estimates.
On Saturday, a Pakistan cabinet member, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, offered a $100,000 reward for the death of the video's maker, according to the NY Times. The Pakistani government distanced itself from Bilour's incitement to murder, which he acknowledged at the time was illegal, but said he was “ready to be hanged in the name of the Prophet Muhammad.”
The BBC said Pakistan has urged people to demonstrate peacefully and cut mobile phone services to reduce the risk of a wave of violence.
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