Thousands of Sri Lankan Muslims have protested an American-made film that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad, demanding the U.S. ban it and punish its creators.
More than 5,000 protesters blocked traffic as they marched on a main road Monday in the capital, Colombo, carrying signs and banners that read “USA ban the film on YouTube,” “Punishment for those involved,” and “Our hearts are wounded and chests full of anger.”
Protest organiser Kamil Hussain urged the U.S. to ban the film, Innocence of Muslims, and remove it from YouTube, saying “insulting a religious leader is not freedom of speech.”
Protesters also displayed banners that called for boycotting American brands such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.
American leaders have denounced the film, but U.S. free speech rights mean it’s not a crime there.