MASS OUTRAGES ON ANTI-ISLAM MOVIE
Indonesia police on alert for US Embassy protest
Oleh Rika Theo - Jumat, 14 September 2012 | 14:54 WIB
JAKARTA. Indonesian leaders and a prominent cleric have urged calm in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation ahead of expected protests over an anti-Islam film that has sparked anger among followers.
Jakarta police spokesman Col. Rikwanto, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, says the U.S. Embassy did not request any increased security, but 250 riot police have been put on alert as a precaution.
The embassy issued an email to American citizens saying a demonstration with an estimated 300 people was expected after Friday prayers.
"We advise, as always, that people should avoid large crowds and other gatherings that might turn violent," it said.
A small, peaceful demonstration was held Friday outside the U.S. Embassy in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
About 20 protesters briefly shouted "Allahu akbar!" or God is great, and handed reporters a letter addressed to the American ambassador expressing their anger over the movie and calling for greater respect for religions.
The low-budget film "Innocence of Muslims" ridicules Islam and depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman. Since it emerged on the Internet, it has prompted violent protests at U.S. embassies in the Middle East. In Libya, the American ambassador and three other staff members were killed when the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has condemned the film and said he regrets the violence it has caused. His government has been working to block access to clips of the film, which went viral on YouTube.
A prominent cleric has urged Indonesian Muslims to remain calm despite their anger about the film. But others are calling for Muslims worldwide to defend the dignity of the Prophet Muhammad.
The group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, a branch of the international network that advocates a worldwide Islamic state, on its website blamed the U.S. government for allowing the film to be produced and released, calling it "an act of barbarism that cannot go unpunished."
"Why do these people seek problems by disturbing our peace? They knew the risk they were facing by angering people," said Muhammad Al-Khaththath, leader of another hardliner group. "There's only one way to stop our anger: Give the death penalty to the filmmaker and the actors."
Indonesia is a secular nation with about 210 million Muslims, most of whom practice a moderate form of Islam.
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