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Hong Kong Muslims protest anti-Islam film, cartoons

Published on Sep 23, 2012 6:50 PM
Muslim protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against a US-made anti-Islam film mocking the Prophet Mohammed, in Hong Kong on Sept 23, 2012. Over 1,000 Muslims protested against French cartoons and a US-made film they called "derogatory" against Islam, as protesters briefly clashed with the police. -- PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (AFP) - Thousands of Muslims in Hong Kong protested against an anti-Islam film and French cartoons on Sunday, briefly scuffling with police as they tried to deliver a letter to the US consulate.

The protesters, who numbered more than 3,000 according to police and organisers, held up banners to denounce the film and cartoons as they marched through the city chanting "Allahu akbar" or "God is greater".

The group, including women in headscarf and children, briefly clashed with police as they tried to break through a cordon outside the US consulate to deliver a petition letter, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

"Freedom of speech should not be used against any religion," Mr Saeed Uddin of the Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong, a group that claims it represents some 300,000 Muslims in the city, said before the march.

"This is not the first time that our Holy Prophet has been insulted and attacked," he said, branding the cartoons and the film as "malicious, disrespectful and derogatory".

Mr Uddin, a Pakistani who has lived in the southern Chinese city for 35 years, urged the American and French governments to take action against the filmmaker and cartoonist who are behind the controversial works.

The Innocence Of Muslims film, an amateur production that went virtually unnoticed for months, has sparked violent protests across the Muslim world and left more than 50 people dead since Sept 11.

A Pakistani minister on Saturday placed a US$100,000 (S$122,500) bounty on the head of the filmmaker and called on the Taleban and Al-Qaeda to join the hunt.

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday published cartoons portraying Prophet Mohammed naked, further fuelling Muslim anger.