The Straits Times
Published on Sep 19, 2012

Pakistan declares holiday for Prophet in response to film


ISLAMABAD (AFP) - The Pakistan government is to declare Friday a national holiday in honour of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, officials said on Wednesday, in response to a film deemed insulting to Islam.

The cabinet decided to make Friday an official "day of expression of love for the Prophet" after discussing the Innocence Of Muslims movie, which has triggered more than a week of violent protests across the Islamic world, a senior government official said.

The move came after religious parties called for a day of protest on Friday to denounce the film.

The head of a leading Sunni party, the Sunni Tehreek, on Monday urged people across the country to close their businesses and hold rallies against the film, which was made by extremist Christians in the United States (US). Sources said traders and transporters associations in the largest city and commercial hub Karachi had backed the call.