SOME 750 Muslims from all over Pangasinan gathered at the Dagupan City plaza early Friday to express their condemnation of the anti-Islamic film entitled “Innocence of Muslims”, which has sparked worldwide protests.
The rally held from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. was peaceful and orderly as the city police, boosted by augmentation teams from the Pangasinan Police Office, cordoned off the city plaza.
The mass action was staged by Muslims from 22 municipalities and three cities of Pangasinan who began their protest with a march around downtown Dagupan City, holding placards that condemned the film that has become viral on the internet.
Their placards called for the removal of the movie from social networking sites and a ban on the showing of the movie throughout the country, which they considered as blasphemous to their prophet Muhammad and their religion.
“The Innocence of Muslims” trailer, produced by Sam Bacile and posted in YouTube, had already sparked riots by Muslims all many parts of the world that claimed US Ambassador to Libya J Christopher Stevens as one of the first fatalities.
But the Pangasinan Integrated Muslim Assembly Inc. (PISAI) vowed they will never resort to violence and would rather register their protest in a peaceful way.
Mangontawar “Millan” Sultan, PISAI secretary general, said the rally was also organized to call on non- Muslims not to believe the portrayals in the movie.
“Hindi gawain ng propeta ang pagpatay ng tao. Sa katunayan, si Muhammad ang nagbigay liwanag sa mga Muslim. Ang pelikula ay pambabastos sa relihiyon ng Islam sa kabuuan,” Sultan said.
He said that the filmmakers overused their freedom of expression and had disrespected the Islamic religion.
“We respect other religions and we expect that they also do the same with ours,” Haque said.