September 13, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government has strongly denounced the film mocking Islam’s Prophet Mohammed amid calls by Islamist groups for drastic reactions including violent demonstrations after Friday prayer and expulsion of the U.S. and German ambassadors in Khartoum.
- FILE PHOTO - Sudanese protest in Khartoum, denouncing Danish newspaper’s of a cartoon satirizing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (Fox News)
Few hundred Sudanese already demonstrated outside the U.S. embassy on Wednesday against the “Innocence of Muslims”, an anti-Islam film made in the U.S., demanding an apology and its removal from the internet.
The amateur film has been sparking popular outrage and concomitant protests outside U.S. diplomatic missions across the Arab world in the past few days. The fracas took an unprecedented turn on Tuesday when the U.S. ambassador in Libya was killed during protests around the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
The Sudanese Council of Ministers issued a strongly worded response to the film, describing it as an “aggressive action provoking Muslims and stirring up unjustified hostility between followers of heavenly religions”
Following a meeting chaired by President Omer Al-Bashir on Thursday, the council urged Western governments to fight and condemn such phenomenon so it won’t become a threat to international peace and security.
Similarly, the Complex of Islamic Jurisprudence (CIJ), the official clerical authority in Sudan, condemned the film considering it as another episode of the blatant aggressions on the part of Islam’s enemies against its sacrosanct.
CIJ noted that the film coincides with what some people did in Germany y re-posting offensive cartoons of Prophet Mohammed on the walls of Mosques in Berlin.
Both acts, CIJ added, represent a flagrant insult to the feelings of millions of Muslims around the world as well as an attempt to undermine the most sacred of human figures in Islam.
Meanwhile, hard-line Islamist groups and Imams mostly affiliated to Salafist currents gathered on Thursday evening in a meeting called for by the governor of Khartoum Abdel Rahman Al-Khidir to support Prophet Mohammed.
Eye witnesses told Sudan Tribune that the attendants of the meeting were chanting slogans calling on the government to expel the U.S. and German ambassadors.
The attendants also decided to hold demonstrations in front of the U.S. and German embassies following Friday’s prayer but disagreements emerged whether the protests should be peaceful or violent.
Calls for peaceful protests and not attacking the two embassies were met by rejection from the majority of Islamists present in the meeting.
Some hard-line Islamists including MP Dafaa Allah Hasab Al-Rasoul even walked out of the meeting in protest over calls for peaceful protests while others entered into a brawl with those who called for avoiding confrontations with the Sudanese police.
Another indication of the likelihood of violent protests on Friday came from the Legitimate League of [Muslim] Clerics and Preachers in Sudan, a group of hard-line Islamist existing in parallel to the state’s official clerical authorities, which issued a Fatwa on Thursday saying it is allowed to kill whoever insults prophets.