Leadership (Abuja)

23 September 2012

Nigeria: Muslims Demonstrate in Kano Over Blasphemous Film

Hundreds of Muslims belonging to Shi'a sect in Kano had a peaceful protest, burning images of Barack Obama and American flag to express their anger over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States of America (USA).

Followers of Shi'a sect, comprising men, children and women, veiled in black, walked from Fagge Juma'at Mosque stretching a distance of about five kilometres up to the Central Mosque near the Palace of the Emir, Ado Bayero, condemning producers of the film that has stirred outrage across the Muslim world.

The sect followers demonstrated peacefully, shouting "death to America, death to Israel and death to the enemies of Islam".

Malam Turi Mohammad, a member of Islamic Movement that organised the protest, led the procession and said "we are out today to express our rage and disapproval over this blasphemous film." Angry protesters burnt pictures of US President Barack Obama, and the country's flag.

Mohammad, who addressed the crowd at the premises of Kano's Central Mosque, adjacent to the Emir's palace, said that "Muslims are pained by this deliberate insult against our religion under the pretext of freedom of expression", urging the protesters to express their displeasure by burning American flag.

He also urged Nigerian government to publicly denounce the film and sever all ties with America and Israel in view of their role in the blasphemous film.

"Nigerian Muslims are not happy with the video because it's aimed to discredit Islam. We are calling on the US government and the United Nation to quickly deal with the person responsible for the film, and put end to this blasphemy across the world," he told the mammoth crowds.

The protest, which was carried out amidst tight security, ended peacefully as military and police officers deployed around the city provided surveillance during the protest. One of the security personnel said "we have no problem with the protest as long as it is peaceful".

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