Pakistanis protest over cartoon, film

Latest discord over 'Fitna,' Mohammad images

Chanting "Down with Denmark" and "Down with The Netherlands," about 4,000 Pakistani women protested in Karachi on Saturday against a film critical of Islam and over the reprinting of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad.

Titled "Fitna" or "strife" in Arabic, the film by anti-immigration Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders suggests the Koran incites violence and has drawn condemnation from many Muslim countries.

Protests have been held before by hardline Islamist groups in Pakistan, the second largest Muslim nation, against the film and the reprinting in Danish newspapers in February of a satirical cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad that first caused a storm more than two years ago.

The protesting women, many of them clad in all-enveloping burqas, the head to toe veil worn by some conservative Muslim women, chanted anti-Dutch and Danish slogans and called for a boycott of their goods.

Many children wearing head bands reading "God is Great" also participated in the rally in the southern Pakistani city.

"Today's rally shows that Muslim women are just as angry as men about the insult to the Prophet and the religion," said Mohammad Hussain Mehanti, a cleric from the hardline Jamaat-e-Islami party that organized the protest.

Pakistan's parliament early this month passed a resolution against the film and the reprinting of cartoons, but Mehanti said it was not enough and called on the Pakistani government to sever diplomatic ties with the Dutch and Danish governments.

The Dutch government has distanced itself from Wilder's views and the Dutch upper house of parliament has condemned efforts to denigrate Islam and promote hatred.
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