Violent Protests Against Muhammad Film Spread Across Muslim World
Innosence of Muslims causes attack on US embassy in Yemen. Protests have also been reported in Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia.
Demonstrators have stormed the US Embassy in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, as anger continues to spread across the Muslim world over a private film Innosence of Muslims project that mocks the Prophet Muhammad.
Demonstrators broke through the main gate of the Sanaa diplomatic compound.
Once inside the grounds, they broke windows and torched vehicles before police drove them out by firing water cannon and warning shots.
In Cairo also on September 13, police clashed with demonstrators staging their third day of protests outside the U.S. Embassy against the low-budget film project.
One protester, identified as Abdullah Ibrahim Muhammad, explained why he came to the protest.
“We will never accept that our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, might be humiliated. And this is against even freedom everywhere, as somebody said before me," the protester said. "There is freedom everywhere in the world, except for Muslims. Muslims are shown as terrorists. They do not give us our liberty or our freedom.”
Anger among cast, crew
Mystery remains over exactly who was behind the film that has sparked the protests, amid conflicting reports of Jewish or Coptic Christian involvement.
Steve Klein, a consultant on the movie project, denied that Israeli authorities were involved. He also admitted that the named used by the film director — Sam Bacile — is a pseudonym.
The film has not been completed, but excerpt footage has been posted on YouTube. Cast members and crew who worked on the project also are voicing anger about it. They say they did not know the film was insulting the Prophet Muhammad because offensive dialogue was overdubbed after the filming.
Despite uncertainties over the filmmaker, anti-US protests continued to spread across the Muslim world on September 13.
In Tehran, additional security forces were stationed outside the Swiss Embassy on September 13 as Iranian students demonstrated against the film. The United States does not have an embassy in Iran, so Switzerland often serves as an intermediary for Washington.
‘We Will Not Forgive Them’
In Iraq, the Asaib al-Haq militia, an Iraqi group that carried out attacks against foreigners during the Iraq war, threatened all U.S. interests in that country.
The group's leader, Qais al-Khazali said, "The offense caused to the messenger [Prophet Muhammad] will put all American interests in danger and we will not forgive them for that."
Police also clashed with demonstrators outside the U.S. embassy compounds in Tunisia and Sudan late on September 12.
On September 11, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi while a crowd protested the film.
U.S. officials are investigating whether Al-Qaeda linked militants used the Benghazi protest as cover while staging an attack on the building.
U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered security strengthened at all U.S. facilities overseas following the violence in Libya.