September 17, 2012 - 12:43 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The influential leader of the Lebanon-based Shia Muslim militant group, Hezbollah, has called for fresh protests over an anti-Islam film, BBC News reported.
The world needed to know Muslims "would not be silent in the face of this insult", Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said.
In a speech broadcast on Hezbollah's al-Manar TV station, Sheikh Nasrallah called for a week of protests not only against American embassies, but also to press Muslim governments to express their own anger to the US.
He branded the video an "unprecedented" insult to Islam - worse, he said, than Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses and the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which were published in a Danish newspaper in 2005.
"Those who should be held accountable, punished, prosecuted and boycotted are those directly responsible for this film and those who stand behind them and those who support and protect them," primarily the U.S., Sheikh Nasrallah said.
He named several days over the coming week on which demonstrations should take place around Lebanon - the first on Monday afternoon in a southern suburb of Beirut which is a Hezbollah stronghold.
Sheikh Nasrallah said the film aimed to cause strife between Muslims and Christians and applauded many protests so far for their focus on the U.S. and Israel - which he said stood to gain from Muslim-Christian conflict - and not Christians.
Arab and Islamic governments should press for an enforceable international law banning insults to Islam and other religions, Sheikh Nasrallah argued - like laws which already existed to prevent anti-Semitism.