September 27, 2012
It turns out that burning the American Flag may be harmful to your health.
A Pakistani protester died Tuesday after reportedly inhaling smoke from a burning an American flag during a violent anti-American protest.
Some 10,000 people rallied this week in Lahore, the capital of the Punjab province, to protest a movie trailer that Muslims say insults Islam.
According to the New York Post, the protester, identified as Abdullah Ismail, died a day after being taken to Mayo Hospital in Lahore suffering from smoke inhalation..
Witnesses said Ismail had complained of feeling ill after breathing fumes from American flags burnt at the rally.
The rally was organized on the city's landmark mall by the Tehreek Hurmat-i-Rasool. Despite a ban on rallies on The Mall, local officials blocked off the road leading to it from noon to 6 p.m., apparently to facilitate the event.
The film trailer that has spurred angry protests throughout the Middle East, "Innocence of Muslims," was produced by a California man. The trailer ridicules Islam and depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a pedophile.
Radical Islamists and Muslims extremists instantly pounced on the clip as the latest excuse for worldwide violence to “defend the honor of Islam.” The chief justice of Pakistan’s supreme court ordered the state telecommunications authority to block the film on YouTube because it is considered blasphemous.
Among the Muslim clerics whipping the crowd into a frenzy was the head of the jihadist Jamatud Dawa group, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who insisted the U.S. government was linked to the film.
Saeed called for film director Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and those involved in its production and distribution to be hanged, and then according to the Tribune, he issued a direct threat:
“The U.S. must make a law against blasphemy – or we will not let the US consulates in Pakistan function.”
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