Businesses in Pakistan closed and streets emptied across the country as the government declared a national holiday, the “Day of Love for the Prophet Muhammad,” to encourage peaceful protests against the controversial film that has ignited protest across the Muslim world for more than a week.
“An attack on the holy prophet is an attack on the core belief of 1.5 billion Muslims. Therefore, this is something that is unacceptable,” said Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in an address to a religious conference Friday morning in Islamabad.
Mr. Ashraf called on the United Nations and international community to formulate a law outlawing hate speech across the world. “Blasphemy of the kind witnessed in this case is nothing short of hate speech, equal to the worst kind of anti-Semitism or other kind of bigotry,” he said.
But the scenes of chaos in some parts of the country as the day progressed suggested that the government had failed to control public anger on the issue.
In Peshawar, where the television employee was killed, protesters attacked and burned two movie theaters, breaking through the windows with sticks and setting fire to posters that featured images of female movie stars.
What an exciting country! What a confident culture! What an admirable people! I wish I had a million dollars to invest there. Onward and upward, Pakistan!
UPDATE: Oh, look: Afghanis demonstrating against America for the film today hung an effigy of President Obama — a stuffed monkey. What special people! Let’s give them tens of millions more, and ask more of our soldiers to die for that country.
OTOH, thank you, 30,000 Benghazis, for your demonstration today against the terrorists who killed our ambassador.