Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday urged nationwide protests in Lebanon against "Muslim Innocence" – a film deemed offensive to the Prophet Mohammad that has sparked anti-US riots worldwide.
Nasrallah warned that the film represented "an unprecedented insult to the followers of the Prophet Mohammad," and blamed the "Zionist and American regimes" for perpetrating a derision "worse than all previous offenses against Islam, the Koran and the messenger of Allah," Nasrallah said.
- Al-Qaeda to Muslims: Kill US diplomats over film
- Muslim film protest reaches Israel
- Op-ed: Muslims' sensitive issue
"I think this is a major, very dangerous and unprecedented insult to Muslims,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech.
"We call for protests tomorrow in the southern suburbs (of Beirut) at 5 o'clock… Muslims and Christians must remain vigilant in order to refrain from sliding towards strife."
Anti-US protest in Bangladesh (Photo: AP)
"Those responsible for the film, starting with the United States must be held accountable," he stressed.
"All these developments are being orchestrated by US intelligence," he added, saying that the US government was using the excuse of freedom of speech in order to justify the continued broadcast of the film.
Hezbollah's chief condemned the film as being "Even worse than the arson at Al-Aqsa Mosque."
The Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest site, which is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, was set on fire in 1969 and suffered severe damage to its southeastern wing.
Film protest in Egypt (Photo: AP)
"A nation that abides such an offense against its Prophet signals to the Israelis that they can go ahead and demolish Al-Aqsa," he warned.
Nasrallah further said that the film sought to ignite a religious war between Muslims and Christians and lauded Christian clerics who denounced the film as offensive.
Many Muslims consider any depiction of the prophet as offensive and fury about the film tore across the Middle East this week, with protesters attacking US embassies and burning American flags.
The US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya, last Tuesday. At least nine people were killed in protests in several countries on Friday, but protests subsided over the weekend.
Reuters contributed to this report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop