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

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

MLB

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at…

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at 11 a.m.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.