(KCBS/AP) – Thousands of people hit the streets in Pakistan’s biggest city Sunday to protest a YouTube video insulting the prophet Muhammad, suggesting anger over the movie is far from over.
Senior police official Nasir Lodhi estimated 5,000 people participated in the Karachi rally. Security was increased, and sections of the city were shut down to help contain the crowd. Demonstrators burned U.S. flags and demanded the filmmakers be punished. Overall, the rally went peacefully.
The crude film entitled “Innocence of Muslims” portrays Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a child molester. It has deeply offended many Muslims, and dozens of people have died in protests linked to the movie.
The White House has denounced the film, but also has defended American laws governing freedom of expression.
One of the Bay Area’s most prominent Islamic voices is also weighing in, suggesting that such strong and violent reactions are misguided, if not outright hypocritical.
“You dishonor the Prophet and his teachings by resorting to violence to defend his honor,” said Zahra Billoo, executive director of the Bay Area chapter of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “And if you really revere him, some crazy, low cost production video on YouTube doesn’t undo anything.”
KCBS In Depth:
She pointed out that government control is so great in many Islamic countries that it’s inconceivable to Muslims there that a video mocking Muhammad could even be done.
You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)