World Bulletin / News Desk
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in a rare appearance before tens of thousands of faithful, said on Monday the United States would face grave repercussions across the Muslim world unless it suppressed a film that insults the Prophet Mohammad.
Saying that the world had not yet grasped the depth of hurt felt by Muslims, Nasrallah called on governments to block access to websites showing the film, which was made in California.
"They slandered the purity of his birth, slandered his faith and his morals, slandered his Quran," Nasrallah told tens of thousands of cheering supporters, who had marched through southern Beirut's Shi'ite suburbs to protest against the film.
"The distribution of this entire film must be banned by the Americans," he said, to roars of applause.
The influential leader, surrounded by armed bodyguards, spoke to tens of thousands of Lebanese protesters waving Lebanese flags and yellow Hezbollah banners. "America, hear us - don't insult our prophet!" they shouted. "Enough humiliation!"
To avoid Israeli assassination, the Hezbollah leader has seldom appeared in public since 2006.
"The world should know our anger would not be a passing outburst but it would be the start of a serious movement that would continue on the level of the Muslim nation to defend the Prophet of God," Nasrallah said.
He called for websites to stop publishing clips said to be a trailer for the amateurishly made movie called "Innocence of Muslims."
The greater goal, Nasrallah said, would be for the world to agree to criminalise insults to any religion and its prophets.
Nasrallah warned of the danger of unleashing further rage if the full-length film emerged.
"America, which uses the pretext of freedom of expression..., needs to understand that putting out the whole film will have very grave consequences around the world."
Some demonstrators said the U.S. refusal to censor the Internet clips was provocative for Muslims, who feel they are often subject to prejudices and aggression by U.S. forces.
"Is it really possible that America can fight wars all over the country and it can't remove one film? America wants to sew strife for sure," said Ahmed Afif, 30, as his small son sitting on his shoulders waved a Hezbollah flag.
MORE PROTESTS CALLED
The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya, last Tuesday in an attack on the U.S. consulate that coincided with an upsurge of anger about the film.
After Stevens' death, Hezbollah sent out a statement condemning the film as immoral, but it also denounced the violent attack in Benghazi.
On Friday, one person was killed when protests spread to Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, where thousands of Muslim protesters torched a fast food restaurant.
Some Christians on Monday also joined the rally, where protesters chanted "Death to America, Death to Israel".
"We came here to share with our Muslim brothers in a protest against this insult to the prophet," said Antoine Dau, 60. "This is an assault on Muslim and Christian co-existence."
He said the protests against the film were a chance for Muslims to unite - an apparent reference to differences emerging between Sunni and Shi'ite sects.
"They must cooperate and unite to serve their shared goals, even if there some are some differences between them. What has happened stresses ... that we must direct anger toward the real enemy and not be dragged into discord."
Syria's mostly Sunni-led uprising has proved particularly divisive in Lebanon and led to sporadic clashes in the northern city of Tripoli.
Tens of thousands take to street to welcome 'Jokowi' as congratulatory banners seemed to occupy every available public space across the country’s thousands of islands
"Nigeria is now free of Ebola," WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz told a news conference in the capital Abuja.
Enas Khalil succumbed to injuries she sustained when she and a friend were hit by a settler's car as they walked home from kindergarten
Around 1.2 million Syrians have sought refuge in Lebanon since civil war erupted in their country more than three years ago, according to the UNHCR
The 20-year-old, who did not named, left Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital following one week of treatment.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told British Prime Minister David Cameron he risked upsetting allies and losing international clout if he pursued an anti-immigration agenda designed to please domestic voters
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his former vice-president Riek Machar are expected at the official launching of the talks
Kerry said U.S. told Turkey arms drop to Syrian Kurds 'momentary' response to crisis in Kobani
Ashton's five-year term as EU foreign policy chief ends at the end of this month, and she had said she would stay on as nuclear negotiator until Nov. 24
Kerry will urge Widodo to maintain the active role in regional foreign policy pursued by the previous Indonesian administration, amid concern that the new president may be more inward-looking
The power station - which feeds a densely populated area with few other power stations - produces 1,360 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough power for 1 million households
The departures are the first cabinet resignations for Abe, who took office in December 2012 for a rare second term, promising to revive Japan's stalled economy and strengthen its security stance
The rebels grabbed the crossing along the kingdom’s southern border earlier this week as they expanded their control in impoverished Yemen
74.3 percent are against the establishment of a Palestinian on the 1967 borders. That number increases if the creation of a Palestinian state would require Israel's withdrawal from the Jordan Valley and if it meant Jerusalem would be divided
Pyongyang admitted in 2002 to kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens and five abductees and their families later returned to Japan
Israel is suffering from an epidemic of violence that must be treated, the country’s President Reuven Rivlin said