Violent anti-American demonstrations broke out in both Afghanistan and Indonesia on early Monday as the backlash continues to spread throughout the Islamic world against the American-made film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad.
Hundreds of Afghans burned cars and threw rocks at a U.S. military base to protest the privately-made film, while angry Indonesians in Jakarta clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy, hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails and burning tires outside the diplomatic compound.
The low-budget film, which was made by a Jewish-American in California, has been the source of angry anti-American sentiment throughout the region since last week.
Its portrayal of Muhammad as a fraud, womanizer and child molester has drawn the ire of Muslims everywhere who believe the U.S. government is somehow responsible.
The resulting wave of international violence began Tuesday when mainly Islamist protesters climbed the U.S. Embassy walls in the Egyptian capital of Cairo and tore down the American flag from a pole in the courtyard.
A later attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi resulted in the death of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, John Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans.
Protesters have stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and held violent demonstrations outside posts in both Egypt and Sudan. A Taliban attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of four U.S. Marines.
President Barack Obama has responded to the rising tensions by deploying additional military forces to the region to protect American citizens.
“Death to America!” and “Death to those people who have made a film and insulted our prophet,” shouted the crowd in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Police officers shot into the air to hold back about 800 people and prevent them from pushing toward government buildings downtown.
The Afghan government has blocked video-sharing web site YouTube to prevent Afghans from viewing a clip of the anti-Muslim film. Officials have said it will remain blocked until the video is taken down. Other Google services, including Gmail, were also blocked in Afghanistan during much of the weekend and the block continued on some providers Monday.
Obama has vowed that the attackers on the American posts would be brought to justice, but has repeatedly stressed that the U.S. respects religious freedom.