[The unrest came as governments and Western institutions in many parts of the Muslim world braced for protests after Friday Prayer — an occasion often associated with demonstrations as worshipers leave mosques. In Tunisia, the authorities invoked emergency powers to outlaw all demonstrations, fearing an outpouring of anti-Western protest inspired both by the American-made film and by cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a French satirical weekly.]
By Declan Walsh
Arshad Arbab/European Pressphoto Agency
Pakistani riot police officers chase a protester in
It was the worst single day of deadly violence in one Muslim country over the film, “Innocence of Muslims,” since the protests began nearly two weeks ago in
Egypt and later spread to two dozen countries around the world.
Protesters have ignored the United States government’s denunciation of the film.
The violence on Friday in
Pakistan began with a television station employee dying from
gunshot wounds during a protest in the northwestern city of Peshawar, and far bigger protests in the southern , port of Karachi Pakistan’s largest city, left between 12 and 14 people dead,
Pakistani news media reported. Geo, the leading television station, was
reporting 19 deaths by late Friday around the country.
The unrest came as governments and Western institutions in many parts of the Muslim world braced for protests after Friday Prayer — an occasion often associated with demonstrations as worshipers leave mosques. In Tunisia, the authorities invoked emergency powers to outlaw all demonstrations, fearing an outpouring of anti-Western protest inspired both by the American-made film and by cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a French satirical weekly.
American diplomatic posts in India, Indonesia and elsewhere closed for the day. In
Bangladesh, several thousand activists from Islamic organizations
took over roads in the center of the capital, Dhaka after
prayers. They chanted “death to the United States and death to the French” and set on fire a symbolic coffin
for President Obama that was draped with the American flag, as well as an
effigy of Mr. Obama. They also burned the American and French flags. The
protesters threatened to seize the American Embassy on Saturday, but a police
order banned any further demonstrations. Separate protests took place outside
of Dhaka as well.
European countries took steps to forestall protests among their own Muslim minorities and against their missions abroad. France had already announced the closure on Friday of embassies and other institutions in 20 countries while, in
Paris, some Muslim leaders urged their followers to heed a
government ban on weekend demonstrations protesting against denigration of the
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said officials throughout the country had orders to prevent all protests and crack down if the ban was challenged. “There will be strictly no exceptions. Demonstrations will be banned and broken up,” Mr. Valls said.
The German Interior Ministry said it was postponing a poster campaign aimed at countering radical Islam to avoid fueling protests among the country’s four million Muslims, The Associated Press reported.
Pakistan closed and streets emptied across the country as the
government declared a national holiday, the “Day of Love for the Prophet
Muhammad,” to encourage peaceful protests against the controversial film that
has ignited protest across the Muslim world for more than a week.
“An attack on the holy prophet is an attack on the core belief of 1.5 billion Muslims. Therefore, this is something that is unacceptable,” said Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in an address to a religious conference Friday morning in
Mr. Ashraf called on the United Nations and international community to formulate a law outlawing hate speech across the world. “Blasphemy of the kind witnessed in this case is nothing short of hate speech, equal to the worst kind of anti-Semitism or other kind of bigotry,” he said.
But the scenes of chaos in some parts of the country as the day progressed suggested that the government had failed to control public anger on the issue.
Peshawar, where the television employee was killed, protesters
attacked and burned two movie theaters, breaking through the windows with
sticks and setting fire to posters that featured images of female movie stars.
Television footage showed the police firing in the air to disperse the crowd, and a hospital official said that at least 15 people, including three police officers, were injured.
Islamabad, where thousands of protesters flooded toward the heavily
guarded diplomatic enclave, Express News reported that the police ran out of
rubber bullets because of heavy firing.
A television reporter said that when protesters in nearby
Rawalpindi ran out of material to burn, they broke into several tire
shops along a major road to steal fresh supplies.
The government cut off cellphone coverage in major cities, while the authorities in
Islamabad sealed all exits to the city after Friday Prayer, state
radio reported. Some Pakistanis were relying on e-mail and social media sites,
like Twitter, to communicate.
Expressions of weary anger over the violence were common. “We are not a nation. We are a mob,” said Nadeem F. Paracha, a cultural commentator with Dawn newspaper, on Twitter.
Large shipping containers blocked roads through the center of several cities. Western diplomatic missions were closed for the day.
The State Department spent $70,000 on Urdu-language advertisements that were broadcast on several television channels, dissociating the American government from the inflammatory film.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it had summoned the American chargé d’affaires, Richard Hoagland, asking him to have the anti-Islam film removed from YouTube, which has been entirely blocked in
Pakistan for the past several days.
Alan Cowell contributed reporting from Paris and Julfikar Ali Manik from Dhaka,
@ The New York Times
Ordinarily, a star turn on
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” teaching Britney Spears his dance might be one of the surest signs that
a performer has made it. But this week, Park Jae-sang, the South Korean
phenomenon behind a dance video called Gangnam
Style, got an even clearer sign of success. North
Korea — so cut off
from the world that satellite shots show most of the country plunged in
darkness at night — parodied the video. SEOUL,
South Korea — South Korea’s “Macarena” moment does have a bit of a serious side.
[Why the original video, released in July, has gained such popularity is anyone’s guess. In it, Mr. Park, 34, does a “horse riding” dance that looks vaguely like what children do when they hop around pretending to be galloping. He raps and dances around
Seoul, all in the company of pretty women and to a song with an
By Su Hyun Lee
The North used the video to score a propaganda point, making fun of a South Korean presidential candidate. But one thing was still clear: While ordinary North Koreans are unlikely to have seen the video (access to the Internet is severely limited), Gangnam Style is a big enough hit that even reclusive apparatchiks know of it.
Why the original video, released in July, has gained such popularity is anyone’s guess. In it, Mr. Park, 34, does a “horse riding” dance that looks vaguely like what children do when they hop around pretending to be galloping. He raps and dances around
Seoul, all in the company of pretty women and to a song with an
In short, the performer, popularly known as PSY (short for Psycho), has done what K-Pop bands have failed to do. While those groups have choreographed their way to success all over
have made less headway in other parts of the world. Mr. Park, with his
willingness to allow himself to be made fun of with a buffoonish performance,
is a global success.
His video has more than 220 million views on YouTube and several parodies themselves have gone viral. A recent spoof landed some lifeguards in
California in trouble: news reports say they were fired for using
city property as their set.
What Mr. Park is singing about is Gangnam, a fashionable neighborhood in Seoul where the nouveau riche shop at Chanel, drive fancy cars and send their children to well-known prep schools. He grew up there, and although his dance moves are anything but what someone might expect of Gangnam’s sophisticates, the title seems to both celebrate — and possibly mock — the lifestyle.
That plays especially well in
South Korea, where the growing gap between rich and poor is serious
enough to have become an issue in the presidential campaign.
In any case, South Koreans have banded together to celebrate Mr. Park’s success, with media outlets breathlessly reporting each new sighting. PSY on “Ellen.” PSY on “Saturday Night Live.” And now a PSY parody in
It does not seem to matter at all to many South Koreans that possibly their most famous cultural ambassador is, well, less than refined. For them, he still represents a “soft power” moment, a way of selling their culture to the world.
Dafna Zur, a professor at the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at
, says South Koreans still have “an inferiority complex”
that makes them happy for exposure. “I think Koreans are still at the stage
where they think any publicity is good publicity,” she said. Stanford
Jeffery DelViscio and Shreeya Sinha contributed reporting from
. New York