Thousands protest in Indonesia over anti-Islam film
JAKARTA — Thousands of Indonesians on Sunday chanted anti-American slogans outside the US embassy in Jakarta, in the latest protest against a film that sparked demonstrations in at least 20 countries.
At least 3,000 supporters of the Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) gathered outside the US mission, but there was none of the violence that erupted there earlier in September, when police clashed with protesters.
Men and women wearing Muslim headscarfs and children assembled outside the building, while hundreds of police stood guard and four water cannon vehicles were at the ready.
The protesters carried banners declaring “My life for the Prophet Mohammed”, “Stop the film, Save the Prophet Mohammed” and “Go to hell with the freedom of expression”.
“It is very clear now that our real enemy is America,” a speaker told the crowd, who shouted “America and Israel are terrorists!”
“Prosecute and jail the filmmaker and revoke the film from YouTube, otherwise we will boycott you America,” another speaker told the crowd who shouted back, “Allahu Akbar!” (God is greater).
Jakarta police spokesman Rikwanto told AFP that about 400 police personnel were deployed.
More than 30 people have been killed in violence linked to the low-budget “Innocence of Muslims”, produced by US-based extremist Christians.
Indonesia, which has a population of 240 million, is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
About 700 members of hardline Muslim groups protested earlier in September outside the US embassy, some hurling petrol bombs. Eleven policemen and a protester were injured in clashes.