Pakistan’s National Assembly on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution against the anti-Islam film that has already triggered a wave of violence in the Arab world even as Islamabad strengthened security around the U.S. Embassy and diplomatic missions belonging to major Western countries in fear of retaliation, particularly after Friday’s juma prayers.
The resolution was moved by the federal Law Minister. The Pakistan Government, on Wednesday, late at night, condemned the airing of the defamatory film and said: “Such abominable actions, synchronized with commemoration of atrocious events like 9/11, provoke hatred, discord and enmity within societies and between peoples of various faiths.’’
Stating that the feelings of the people of Pakistan and Muslims all over the world had been hurt, the Foreign Office said “manifestations of extremist tendencies must be opposed”. Despite predictions of an intense backlash across Pakistan, the day was largely incident-free. However, there were fears of people taking to the streets on Friday after the juma prayers.
As word spread about the film, social networking sites were awash with saner voices trying to drive home the point that violent reaction would only promote the agenda of those who were defaming the Prophet. “The best response is to ignore the film”, was a common refrain even as prime time television programmes debated whether Pakistan’s response ought to be restrained or of the kind seen in Egypt and Libya.
The Jam’at-ud-Dawa has called for demonstrations on Friday in Lahore and Karachi to protest the film defaming the Prophet. Reacting to U.S. leadership’s condemnation of the film as disgusting and reprehensible, the JuD wondered why it had not been banned as yet. Syed Munawar Hasan, the Ameer of Jamat-e-Islami said peaceful protests would be held across the country on Friday. “These blasphemous activities are now becoming regular. It is spreading more hate and igniting violence in Muslims,” he said in a tweet.