Friday September 21, 2012
Umno and PAS youth wings plan own protests over anti-Islam film and cartoon
By RAHIMY RAHIM
KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth and its PAS counterpart will hold separate rallies to protest against an anti-Islam film and the satirical cartoon of Prophet Muhammad in a French magazine.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said his movement, together with 10 non-governmental organisations, would gather at Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru today instead of the US Embassy building as planned earlier.
“We have decided to change the venue to Kampung Baru due to security reasons,” he said, adding that they were acting on the advice of the Home Ministry and the police.
It was reported that both Umno and PAS Youth had earlier planned to come as one in a massive protest outside the US Embassy after Friday prayers.
However, Khairy said the ministry and the police had advised both sides to break up the crowd as thousands were expected to join the protests.
Khairy, who is Rembau MP, stressed that both parties shared the same responsibility and solidarity to condemn the act of insulting Islam and Prophet Muham-mad.
“After much discussion with (PAS Youth chief) Nasruddin Hassan, our position with PAS on the issue remains the same.
At least 28 people had been killed in violent protests in several countries over the movie Innocence of Muslims.
Amid the uproar, a Parisian weekly published crude caricatures of Prophet Muhammad, which further provoked Muslims worldwide.
“We will show displeasure over the video and the cartoon as well as condemn violence targeted at innocent people,” said Khairy, who also invited non-Muslims to also join in the protests.
“We want to show to the world that we can hold a protest without resorting to violence,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nasruddin said PAS would proceed with its plan to assemble peacefully in front of the US embassy.
“We have repeatedly warned our members not to bring any weapons or cause any provocation during the gathering,” he said.
He said participants would gather in front of the Tabung Haji building before proceeding to the US embassy to submit a memorandum.
“We expect to disperse about 4pm,” he said.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy here said it would close today at 11am in view of the demonstrations.
It will re-open as normal on Monday.