Thousands protest anti-Islam film in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano; led by pro-Iran group.
By Aminu Abubakar (AFP) in Kano: Tens of thousands of people on Saturday protested on the streets of Nigeria’s second city of Kano against an anti-Islam film made in the US that has stirred outrage across the Muslim world.
The crowd of demonstrators stretched several kilometres (miles) through the city, the largest in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, with protesters shouting “death to America, death to Israel and death to the enemies of Islam”.
The rally was organised by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, a pro-Iranian group that adheres to the Shiite branch of Islam, which has operated in Africa’s most populous country since the late 1970s.
“We are out today to express our rage and disapproval over this blasphemous film,” said Muhammed Turi, a protest leader and member of the Islamic Movement that organised a similar rally earlier this week in the city of Zaria.
“This protest is also aimed at calling on the US government to put a halt to further blasphemy against Islam,” he added.
Demonstrators carried pictures of US President Barack Obama, as well as American and Israeli flags as they marched towards a palace owned by the Emir of Kano, the top religious figure in the city of roughly 4.5 million people.
Others were seen waving Iranian flags.
Turi addressed the crowd outside Kano’s central mosque, adjacent to the Emir’s palace, before the rally ended with no incidents of violence reported.
“We are pained by this deliberate insult against our religion under the pretext of freedom of expression,” he told the protesters.
Security forces were deployed around the city and a police officer stationed outside a hospital said the authorities had allowed the demonstration.
“We have no problem with the protest as long as it is peaceful,” said the officer who requested anonymity.
Protester Husseini Ibrahim claimed that the “blasphemy” in the film regarding the Prophet Mohammed is “like an invitation to war.”
“The prophet means everything to us. He means more than our lives.”
Turi also urged Nigeria’s government to publicly denounce the film and said all ties with Israel should be severed.
The low-budget film “Innocence of Muslims” was reportedly produced by an Egyptian Coptic Christian, but rumours that circulated shortly after its release suggested an Israeli was involved.
The film incited a wave of bloody anti-American violence in cities across the Muslim world, with protests occurring in more than 20 countries.
Thousands of Muslims protested in Zaria on Thursday, burning US and Israeli flags.
The previous week in the religiously divided central Nigerian city of Jos, soldiers fired live rounds outside a mosque to disperse a crowd of several hundred that was seeking to demonstrate against the film.
Nigeria’s 160 million people are roughly divided between a predominantly Muslim north and a largely Christian south, and Muslim-Christian tensions have often led to deadly confrontation.
An article in one of Nigeria’s leading newspapers in 2002 considered blasphemous by Muslims helped spark deadly riots in the northern city of Kaduna in which 3,000 people were killed.
• For seasoned insights and breaking news on these issues, log on to USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica powered e-group Nigeria360. Follow USAfrica Facebook.com/USAfricaChido , Facebook.com/USAfrica247 n Twitter.com/Chido247
Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and the Nigeria360 e-group. http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/ : IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary at USAfricaonline.com http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/
• Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu+al-qaeda+terrrorism+nigeria&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 http://usafricaonline.com/tag/al-qaeda/ 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584
Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here: http://usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/
News archives related to Jos, here http://usafricaonline.com/?s=jos 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com on July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584
Trump looks foolish and crazy screaming about Obama’s birth certificates, college records and Muslim connection. By Raynard Jackson
USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin. By Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html
USAfrica: Ikemba ODUMEGWU OJUKWU’s farewell in Aba, today February 28, 2012, reflected a fitting tribute, historically meaningful celebration, proper regard and deserving appreciation of the greatest Igbo, in my opinion, to have ever lived (like him or hate him).
I SALUTE Aba (aka Enyimba city), the robust and fearless town I was born, bred and raised, for giving the Ikemba, our Ochiagha, Gburugburu, Oka oburu uzo, dike na ndu ma n’onwu, mgbadike anyi, a hero’s farewell.
To the Ikemba, may your valiant soul rest in peace and dignity.
We will, and I, Chido Nwangwu, will never forget to continue to tell my generation and the next about your towering courage through tempest and thunder; through sorrow, pain, tears, blood….
•Dr. Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; and recipient of several journalism and public policy awards, was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn.