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Muslims destroying their own countries

Reader comment on item: How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims [by Leading to a Separation of Civilizations]

Submitted by Ali (United States), Feb 15, 2006 at 13:38

Here is a newspaper report from Lahore, Pakistan (Dawn.com). In Lahore, thousands of people, from various religious parties and seminary students, had taken to the street on a strike call given by the Tahaffuz Namoos-i-Risalat Mahaz (Front for protection of prophet's honour) , a group of small Sunni parties. A seminary, Jamia Naeemia, in Garhi Shahu had been a centre of activities for the past week to make the strike a success.

Yes it was very successful. Several people got killed, many got injured and hundreds of millions of dollars were lost in a very poor country. But who cares, prophet's honour was defended. Read on:

LAHORE, Feb 14: Two young men were killed and 20 suffered injuries when angry mobs, protesting against publication of sacrilegious caricatures of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) in a number of European newspapers turned violent.

The protesters ransacked and set on fire a number of buildings, including the Punjab Assembly, and hundreds of cars and motorcycles in the city on Tuesday.

The shooting, which claimed the two lives, occurred on Egerton Road where a bank security guard opened fire on approaching rioters.
One of the injured youngsters died on way to the hospital and another died after first aid dressing, said Dr Tariq at the emergency ward of the hospital. The deceased were identified as Muhammad Qaisar, 22, and Muhammad Rafiq, 25. He added that 13 injured people had been taken to the hospital. Of them, five suffered bullet injuries, he said, adding that three of them were in a critical condition.

Eyewitnesses and police said the establishments ransacked and set on fire by groups of rioters included a number of local and foreign banks, four restaurants of two American fast food chains, a Norwegian cellphone company's office, a five-star hotel, a cinema, a theatre, a number of petrol pumps and various shops.

Around 500 vehicles, mainly cars, were ransacked while at least 75 motorcycles and 10 cars were burnt by the protesters. All traffic signals on The Mall, Egerton Road, Hall Road, Laxmi Chowk, Bhati Chowk and some on Ferozpur Road and Multan Road were broken completely by the angry youths. Looting also took place when rioters broke into some offices and buildings, especially that of the cellphone company.

. The rioting continued for about six hours on various roads, while the police kept pushing the groups of rioters back, sending them in various directions. No action was taken to round up the rioters.

Responding to the strike call, thousands of people had gathered near the shrine of the Data Ganj Bukhsh. They turned violent soon after the rally began. Lower Mall police station was the first spot that fell prey to the protesters' anger; it was pelted with stones.

The protesters then marched on to The Mall, where they ransacked an American fast food chain restaurant, a bank and burnt two vehicles. On reaching the GPO Chowk, the protesters split into groups of 20 to 50 each and began vandalising shops.

One of the groups put a five star hotel and a car showroom with four new cars inside on fire at the Dyal Singh Mansion near the Regal Chowk. Not far away from this scene, another group first ransacked another American fast food restaurant, two banks and the office of a Norwegian cellular phone company; later, they torched the buildings. Having three floors each, all the four buildings were reduced to ashes long before fire tenders got to the scene.

The rioters broke glasses of shops on both sides of The Mall and on reaching the Charing Cross, they vandalised the building of another bank and burnt two more vehicles.

The police resorted to teargas shelling, but the protesters attacked the Punjab Assembly building (assembly building for elected representatives). Police deployed inside the assembly building first tried to block the rioters, but then took to their heels. The protesters entered the building and broke all windowpanes before setting a portion of the assembly building on fire.

The rioters damaged the glass-fitted facade of the main Pakistan Airlines town office.

At the next intersection on Egerton Road, the protesters broke all traffic signals and windscreens and windows of every car parked on both sides of the road. A group marched towards the Lahore Stock Exchange and threw stones and bricks on the building. The pelting also damaged around 10 cars parked inside the building.

Yet another American fast food restaurant became their next target. They vandalised the outlet and a bank on the first floor in the LDA Plaza. Nineteen motorcycles parked outside the food outlet were set on fire. At least 40 cars parked nearby were completely damaged by the rioters.

Another group of protesters attacked another bank near the food chain where the guard opened fire. The rioters put on fire the bank, four cars and around 21 motorcycles parked on the premises were reduced to ashes.

The police and Pakistan Rangers later rushed to the spot, but they only pushed the rioters out in other directions without making any effort to round them up. The protesters put an office of a travel agency on fire before dispersing.

Some of the rioters reached Laxmi Chowk and vandalised over 20 shops and food outlets there. They also torched a traffic police kiosk. At the Bhati Chowk, another group of rioters torched a cinema house and ransacked a theatre besides damaging several vehicles.

Reports from other parts of the city said rioters damaged two petrol pumps and a bakery in Nawankot besides attacking vehicles on various roads.

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