Egypt Islamist preachers say Mohammad film makers deserve death

Protesters set a bank security booth on fire during a demonstration, condemning a U.S.-made film which they say insults the Prophet Mohammad, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo.

Two Islamist preachers in Egypt told worshippers on Friday that those who made a movie deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammad deserved to die under sharia (Islamic law) but they urged protesters not to take their anger out on diplomats or others.

Although the comments could be taken by some ordinary Muslims as an edict to take the law into their hands, many Egyptians believe that only the prestigious Al-Azhar mosque and seat of learning has the authority to issue decrees.

An Al-Azhar preacher on Friday said protests should be peaceful, a state newspaper reported.

Many Muslims deem it blasphemous to depict the Prophet in any form, and have been enraged by a movie made in the United States that portrayed him as a womanizer and religious fake, and protesters have stormed U.S. diplomatic missions in several Muslim countries.

“Those who produced the movie should be tried and killed,” Mahmoud Shabaan, a sheikh from the ultra-orthodox Salafi school, told worshippers at Cairo’s al-Nour mosque, citing actions by the Prophet’s followers and Islamic teachings.

He also said the movie-makers should have a fair and urgent trial, adding that “nothing less than death was appropriate” for those who had insulted the Prophet.

At least one of the promoters of the film is an Egyptian Coptic Christian now living in America. Comments suggesting targeting those behind the film could stoke already heightened tensions between Muslims and Christians, who account for about 10 percent of Egypt’s 83 million people.

Shabaan also said embassies and diplomats, as well as police, should not be attacked. “We should express our anger, but in a peaceful way that is governed by sharia,” he said, after demonstrators scaled the U.S. embassy walls in Cairo this week, battling with police nearby since then.

MURSI CONDEMNS VIOLENCE

Those remarks echoed comments by Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, which he repeated again on a trip to Italy on Friday.

Mursi condemned insults to the Prophet but called for peaceful protests, condemned violence and said Egypt was committed to protecting embassies. He also condemned the killing of the U.S. ambassador in an attack by gunmen in Libya.

In Alexandria, Sheikh Ahmed Mahlawi said: “I demand retribution for those who insult the Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, and spilling their blood is a legal duty.”

Youssry Hammad, spokesman for the Salafi al-Nour party, which secured a big bloc of seats in Egypt’s parliamentary election, said the group rejected insults to the Prophet but also rejected any calls to kill the film producers.

“We also refuse any attacks on embassies,” he said.

At Al-Azhar in Cairo, preacher Mohamed al-Mukhtar al-Mahdi condemned the film but told protesters not to use violence and said foreigners in Egypt should not be targeted and should be kept safe, the website of Al-Ahram newspaper said.

He also said companies that funded the movie should be tracked down and boycotted. Such calls for a boycott were echoed by others, with some calling for boycotting Western or Jewish products, an apparent response to some initial reports that Jewish donors had backed the film.

Jewish groups have condemned reports that they supported the film, CNN reported on its website.

The Salafi Call, an influential group of ultra-orthodox Salafi Muslim sheikhs, had on Wednesday called for suspending cooperation between the Egyptian and U.S. government until America “takes practical measures to stop this farce.”

U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration said it had nothing to do with the film and condemned it, but that it could not curb the constitutional right to free speech in the United States even if some views expressed might be offensive.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…