More than 350 Muslim fundamentalists and their supporters staged an anti-US demonstration in Jakarta on Friday, spewing anger at America over an anti-Islam film.
Outside the US embassy in the Indonesian capital, the protesters — men and women with children in tow — carried banners that read “We condemn the insult against Allah’s messenger,” and the Koranic verse “There is no God but Allah.”
A speaker from the pro-Caliphate organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir that organized the protest, told the crowd: “This film insulted our prophet and we condemn it. The film is a declaration of war.”
The crowd shouted back: “Allahu akbar!” (God is greatest), while police clad in riot gear stood guard nearby.
Another speaker declared: “The US does not deserve to stay here,” as the crowd roared that Americans be expelled from the world’s largest Muslim nation.
Protests have erupted since Tuesday outside US diplomatic missions in several Arab and Muslim states against the low-budget movie “Innocence of Muslims”, made in the United States and deemed offensive to Islam.
Washington has sought to keep a lid on the demonstrations by spelling out that the controversial film which sparked the violence was made privately by a small group of individuals with no official backing.
Jakarta Police spokesman Rikwanto said about 400 policemen had been deployed to guard security around the US Embassy in Jakarta. A strong police contingent, including dozens in riot gear, stood guard before the embassy grounds.
The embassy posted a new security message for US citizens on its website, saying that in light of the protests “we strongly encourage you to follow good personal security practices, maintain a heightened situational awareness, and remain vigilant of your surroundings at all times.”
The US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were killed when heavily-armed extremists launched a sustained four-hour attack on the US consulate in Benghazi late Tuesday.
In the Yemeni capital, police on Thursday shot dead four protesters and wounded 34 others when they opened fire on a crowd attempting to storm the US embassy.
In the Egyptian capital Cairo, police fired tear gas to disperse protesters outside the embassy, injuring more than 200 people, the health ministry there said.