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Pakistani protesters take cover by a tree during clashes with riot police that erupted as protestors tried to approach the U.S. embassy, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Pakistani police opened fire on rioters who were torching a cinema during a protest against an anti-Islam film Friday, and security forces clashed with demonstrators in several other cities in Pakistan on a holiday declared by the government so people could rally against the video. Thousands of people protested in several other countries, some of them burning American flags and effigies of President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

Probably not since the notorious Quran burning calls by controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones in 2010/2011 have relations been so tense between the United States and the Muslim world in what seemingly boils down to a conflict between perceived blasphemy and free speech. Still sore wounds were reopened earlier this month by a YouTube video apparently produced in the U.S. lampooning the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. So far, dozens of people, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, have been killed in violence linked to protests over the clip, and analysts say the anger is likely to continue.

Cecily Hilleary

Cecily began her reporting career in the 1990s, covering US Middle East policy for Dubai-TV English. She has lived and/or worked in the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf regions, consulting and producing for several regional radio and television networks and production houses, including MBC, Al-Arabiya, the former Emirates Media Incorporated and Al-Ikhbaria. She brings to VOA and MEV a keen understanding of the region's top social, cultural and political issues.


  1. kuwait

    September 25, 2012

    Well who ever your are you should know that your just not well educated enough, the people behind the movie did it on purpose to make people angry, 1.5 billion people on earth are Muslims , don’t you think that’s a big number? you insulted their prophet i think they have full right to be angry and go out on protests although i personally think that the american ambassador should not be killed and killing him violates the teachings of the quran and our prophet. So you have no right to blame them. We wouldnt make any kind of insult for jesus because he is a prophet of god.


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