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Protests In Tehran, Kabul Against Film, French Cartoons

September 20, 2012

Hundreds of Afghans have protested in Kabul against depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in the Western media.

Some 300 people chanted "Death to France" and "Death to America" in protest of a low-budget film called "Innocence of Muslims" that Muslims say insults the Prophet. The film was made in the United States.

On September 19, the satirical French weekly "Charlie Hebdo" published cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

In Tehran, scores of students and clerics demonstrated outside the French Embassy, burning French and U.S. flags and shouting "Death to France" and "Down with the U.S."

Police in Islamabad fired live rounds at protesters as they attempted to reach a heavily guarded diplomatic complex where the U.S., British, and French diplomatic missions are located.

Some 1,000 people, mainly students, were involved in the Islamabad protest.

France had said that on Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, it would shut diplomatic missions, cultural centers, and French schools in some 20 Muslim countries for fear of violent protests.

It also closed its embassy and the French school in Tunisia.

Rioting sparked by the film and cartoons has left some 30 people dead.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, an American actress who appeared in the film is suing the film's suspected director.

The complaint was filed in a Los Angeles court by Cindy Lee Garcia, alleging fraud, slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Garcia accuses Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who has gone into hiding, of duping her into a "hateful" film that she was led to believe was an adventure movie.

Garcia is also asking a judge to order YouTube to remove the film, claiming she has received death threats since a clip dubbed into Arabic was posted on the Internet site.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP


Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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