BEIRUT — In a move that could escalate tensions around the Arab world, the leader of the Hezbollah militant group called for protests against an anti-Islam video, saying protesters should not only ‘express our anger’ at US embassies but urge leaders to act.
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday that the Shiite militant group will organize demonstrations against the film in different parts of Lebanon.
The film, which denigrates Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, has sparked violent protests in many Muslim countries in recent days, including one in Libya in which the US ambassador was killed. The US has responded by deploying additional military forces to increase security in certain hotspots.
In a televised speech, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said the US must be held accountable for the film, which was produced in the United States. The US government has condemned the film.
“The ones who should be held accountable and boycotted are those who support and protect the producers, namely the US administration,” Nasrallah said. He called for protests on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
He urged protesters to call on their leaders to express their anger too.
“We should not only express our anger at an American embassy here or there. We should tell our rulers in the Arab and Muslim world that it is ‘your responsibility in the first place’ and since you officially represent the governments and states of the Muslim world you should impose on the United States, Europe and the whole world that our prophet, our Quran and our holy places and honor of our Prophet be respected,” he told his followers.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour told Reuters on Sunday that he had asked Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El-Araby to organize an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers to discuss the film.