Embassy storming in defense of prophet

Published on 17 September 2012 in Report
Sadeq Al-Wesabi (photographer), Ahmed Dawood (author)

Sadeq Al-Wesabi


Ahmed Dawood

Protestors outside the U.S. embassy Thursday set tires on fire and burned the American flag.

Protestors outside the U.S. embassy Thursday set tires on fire and burned the American flag.

In the past week, people at gatherings, qat sessions, markets and mosques are always talking about the American-made film depicting the Prophet Muhammad and the reactions to the film in several Arab countries, including Yemen.

The U.S. embassy in Sana’a was stormed by hundreds of heated youth protesting against the “Innocence of Muslims,” a short film available on YouTube that insults the prophet.

The demonstrators chanted several slogans such as, “No embassy, no ambassador” and “We don’t accept an apology unless the ambassador leaves” in condemnation of the film.

The film enraged Yemenis, but the reaction that followed raised more controversy. Some people supported the protestors’ actions while others opposed them.

Hussein Al-Madani, one of the protesters, said he participated in Thursday’s protest at the embassy in Sana’a to defend the Prophet Muhammad from those who insulted him.

“This isn’t the first time the prophet has been insulted,” he said. “We lost patience because the prophet is everything and is dearer than ourselves. If we do nothing to defend him, we aren’t Muslims.”

Mohammed Ibraheem Amir, another protestor, angrily repeated the phrase “except the Messenger of Allah.”

Amir said he is ready to die for the sake of Prophet Muhammad. He called on all Arab and Muslim rulers to cut ties with the U.S. so that it won’t happen again.

Yahia Al-Dailami, a religious clerk, said residents took to the streets to express anger because of the film. He said U.S Ambassador Gerald Feierstein was supposed to meet them and apologize to them, but he didn’t because he pays no attention to the feelings of Muslims.

Al-Dailami said storming the embassy and trying to burn it is as ugly as enraging the feelings of Muslims worldwide. He called on the U.S. government to apologize to Muslims and to pledge to prosecute the filmmaker.

He also wondered how protestors were able to storm the embassy despite the high level of security.

Obama must apologize

For his part, President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi apologized to the U.S. government for what happened, as did the reconciliation government.

Mohammed Ibraheem, an activist at Sana’a’s Change Square, wondered why Hadi apologized, saying that U.S. President Barack Obama should have apologized to the families of the people injured during the embassy protests and for the production od such a movie in his country.

Faris Al-Hemiari, a journalist, said it is very necessary that the U.N. adopt legislation preventing insults against revered people of any religion.

Al-Hemiari said he is bewildered as to how embassy security was so easily breached and how protesters were able to reach the embassy. He also wondered why the Yemeni government apologized to the U.S.

He added sending U.S. Marines to protect the embassy against Yemeni law, which is why the parliament has disagreed with the move. He said the government bears all responsibility.

Abdulwahab Al-Humaiqani, the secretary general of the Al-Rashad Party, said Yemenis have the right to express anger against the insulting of the Prophet Muhammad, but they should do so peacefully. He said defending the prophet isn’t by way of destroying and attacking because this isn’t what the prophet’s moral values are about.

He called on the U.S. to respect Muslims and to stop such acts that insult them. He questioned the contradiction in the American viewpoint because, from his perspective, they consider insulting the prophet as freedom of expression while they are enraged if someone says anything about the Holocaust.

Abdulmalik Al-Fuhaidi, Al-Mo’tamar Net Site’s editor-in-chief, said defending the prophet can’t be done this way. He said there are more civilized ways to defend him.

Al-Fuhaidi said the majority of protestors didn’t watch the movie and knew nothing about it, but they were enraged to hear about the prophet being insulted. The actions by people outside the embassy prove they are ruled by a culture of violence and looting, he said.

“Arabs and Muslims were supposed to agree on producing an international movie, clarifying the truth of Islam instead of violence and chaos,” he said.