Philippine Muslims picket US Embassy, seek ban on anti-Islam film
Hundreds of Muslims in the Philippines on Monday picketed the US Embassy and asked the Supreme Court to ban public screenings of a film consider insulting to Islam that has sparked violent protests in several countries, dpa reported.
The demonstrators, numbering around 300, waved banners reading "Freedom of religion prevails over freedom of expression" and "No to US double standard" as they briefly protested outside the tightly guarded US Embassy.
They later marched to the Supreme Court where they filed a petition for the high tribunal to order the government to ban the film Innocence of Muslims, an amateur film made by a US director.
The film refers to the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer and paedophile.
"The blasphemous film is a vicious attack on the faith of two billion Muslims, about 7 to 10 million of whom are in the Philippines," the demonstrators said in a statement. "This is a people's initiative that seeks legal remedy to an injustice."
Last week, a law professor at the Philippines' leading state university held a public viewing of the film despite an order by the school's chancellor not to screen it for "security reasons."
Harry Roque showed the film as part of a class on constitutional law and a discussion on freedom of religion, freedom of expression and academic freedom.
Muslims make up around 10 per cent of the majority-Catholic population of the Philippines.