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Anti-Western Fury Continues in Another Day of Protest

Common Dreams staff

The Guardian reports:

Security forces in Islamic countries are bracing for a day of anti-western fury, with international protests planned against a YouTube video ridiculing Muslims and French cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad.

France has closed embassies and schools in about 20 countries around the world after the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a series of cartoons depicting the prophet, including two showing him naked.

Pakistan has drafted in troops to protect foreign embassies and blocked mobile phone signals in about 15 cities after thousands of violent protesters clashed with police on Thursday. The government has declared Friday "a day of love for the prophet", a move welcomed by the Taliban and that risks substantially increasing the already high threat of violence on the traditional Islamic holy day.

The American embassy in Pakistan has been running television advertisements, one featuring the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, emphasising that the US government had nothing to do with the film.

The US and French embassies were closed on Friday in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, and diplomatic missions in the Afghan capital, Kabul, were on lockdown.

According to a report by Al-Jazeera, at least one person has died as demonstrations against an anti-Islam video erupt across Pakistan, a day after protesters tried to storm the US embassy in the capital, Islamabad:

"Thousand of people have already gathered and more are expected to join in the next half an hour as Friday prayers conclude across the city," Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder reported from the city on Friday.

"The most important thing here will be whether these protesters are able to get close to the diplomatic area as they did yesterday in battles with the police.

"The military have taken their position and the police are on alert. They will be trying to avoid a situation like yesterday from happening again."

The Guardian has ongoing updates from various Islamic countries here.

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