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
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Local

Police warn of attempted assault on woman near…

Police in Cambridge issued an alert after a woman said she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault after leaving Porter Square early Wednesday.…

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

THEATER The Wholehearted Thursday through April 27 Paramount Center 559 Washington St., Boston $25-$49, 617-824-8400 www.artsemerson.org This conceptually rich show from Stein | Holum Projects,…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Bruins 2014 playoffs preview: Vegas odds say Stanley…

Bruins 2014 playoffs preview: Vegas odds say Stanley Cup will return to Boston

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

MLB

Injury bug tearing holes in Red Sox

Red Sox fans will recall that last year the bullpen was decimated by injuries. From Franklin Morales to Andrew Miller, from Craig Breslow to Andrew…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.