Pakistan Islamist accuses Obama of religious war on Muslims over hate video

September 26, 2012

(Hafiz Saeed (L), the head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, attends a conference for “safeguarding the honour of the Prophet Mohammad”, with other political and religious leaders in Islamabad September 26, 2012. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood)

One of Pakistan’s most feared Islamists accused President Barack Obama on Wednesday of starting a religious war against Muslims over his handling of a video that mocked the Prophet Mohammad.

Hafiz Saeed, accused by India of masterminding the 2008 attack by Pakistani gunmen on India’s financial capital Mumbai, said Obama should have ordered steps to remove the film from the Internet instead of defending freedom of expression in America.

“Obama’s statements have caused a religious war,” Saeed told Reuters in an interview. “This is a very sensitive issue. This is not going to be resolved soon. Obama’s statement has started a cultural war.”

The Obama administration has condemned the film, which ignited Muslim protests around the world as “disgusting”.

But Western countries remain determined to resist restrictions on freedom of speech and have already voiced disquiet about the repressive effect of blasphemy laws in Muslim countries such as Pakistan.

Read the full story by Aisha Chowdhry here.
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The Muslims ought to bring their ideas of individual freedom up to speed and in pace with the modern world. People elsewhere are free from their government to worship the God they want, and are also free to offend the God that others worship. This is how it must be if religious freedom is to have meaning — no protection is needed when others agree with you. As for threatening others not to offend Prophet Mohamed or else, this is clearly an imposition of Muslim religious etiquette on non-Muslims.

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