by CHRISTINE ABRAHAM Photographer
Protests have spread through the Middle East and Africa over an insulting movie titled “Innocence of Muslims” about the prophet Muhammad, an anti-Islam film that angered many Muslims.
The movie depicts Muhammad as a mad man, a womanizer, and a fraud. The trailer shows him having sex and calling for massacres.
Protesters smashed windows as they reached the embassy perimeter in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, but did not go inside any buildings. They had brought down the American flag, burned it, and replaced it with a black flag showing Islam’s declaration of faith.
“I think that’s absolutely horrible. All that violence over a movie? That’s so crazy,” said sophomore Alexa Sumergido. “I think whoever created that movie knew what he was getting into.”
As the Yemeni security forces arrived at the scene, they used tear grass to disperse the demonstrators and closed down the streets near it. The demonstrators set tires on fire, pelted the compound with rocks, and removed the embassy’s sign.
Yemen condemned the attack on the U.S. perimeter, but the situation was under control said a statement from the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Washington D.C.
“Fortunately no casualties were reported from this chaotic incident. The government of Yemen will honor international obligations to ensure the safety of diplomats and will step up security presence around all foreign missions,” the statement said. “We strongly urge all those that would wish to incite others to violence to cease immediately.”
A mob of Libyans attacked the U.S. consulate, killing American Ambassador Chris Stevens and another three American citizens. In the Libyan attack, three diplomats were injured and are being treated in an American hospital in Germany.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. Make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people,” said President Barack Obama.
Many Muslims in more than twenty countries are protesting the film. In several places, the protests turned violent when protestors set an American fast food restaurant ablaze, international peacekeepers were attacked in Sinai, and Western embassies were stormed in Sudan and Tunisia.
Other countries have blocked the movie and gave YouTube 10 days to pull the film’s trailer from the website. Countries such as Turkey, Brazil, and Russia all banned the movie from being shown. Even Germany is considering banning the movie due to controversial issues.
“I didn’t realize so many countries were banning this movie!…This shouldn’t have resulted in any kind of violence in my opinion, but I can understand why many Muslims were offended by this film,” said sophomore Jacqueline Hur.
The filmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was arrested, but not for the controversial film. He is being held for probation violation for his 2010 conviction of fraud, U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal said.