Pakistan declared Friday to be a public "day of love" for the Prophet Mohammed, leading to new protests that are being tied to the anti-Islamic video that fueled demonstrations for more than a week. In Peshawar, in the northwestern part of country, two movie theaters were ransacked and burned down and one man was killed after police opened fire to disperse a crowd. Mobile phone service has been shut down across the country, as well, both to hamper organizing and to prevent the worst troublemakers from setting off explosives remotely.
Friday is traditionally a day for marches and protests in Islamic communities, as people hit the streets following afternoon prayers. Every major political party and religious organization in Pakistan has called for protests today and there are concerns that more demonstrations will break out in other countries as the day moves toward the west.
France has already closed its embassy and other offices in more than 20 countries and both Paris and Tunisia (a former French colony) have banned all protests planned for today. There was a mostly peaceful demonstration outside the U.S. embassy in Malaysia earlier — though there was some flag burning —and the American embassy remains under high alert in Cairo.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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