Ads by US aim to defuse anti-Islam film anger
Marked by the United States Embassy seal, advertisements condemning an anti-Islam video appeared on Pakistani television yesterday in an apparent attempt to undercut anger against the US, where the film was produced.
Hundreds of youths, however, clashed with security officials as they tried in vain to reach the embassy in Islamabad amid anger in many countries over the film’s vulgar depiction of the Prophet Mohammad.
The advertisements appear to be an effort by the US Government to dampen chaos surrounding the film and undo some of the damage to America’s image in the Muslim world.
Violence linked to the movie has left at least 30 people in seven countries dead, including the American ambassador to Libya. Two people have died in protests in Pakistan.
In recent days, the decision by a French satirical magazine to release cartoons crudely depicting the Prophet has added to the tension, as may the upcoming issue of the German satirical magazine Titanic.
The magazine’s co-editor Martin Sonneborn said it was up to readers to decide whether the cover of an Arab wielding a sword actually depicts the Prophet Muhammad.
Most outrage appears linked to the amateurish movie, which portrays the Prophet as a fraud, womaniser and child molester.
The ads in Pakistan feature clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during press appearances in Washington in which they condemned the video. Their words were subtitled in Urdu.
“We absolutely reject its content and message,” said Clinton in the advertisement.
The advertisements end with the seal of the American Embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.
It was not known how many channels were airing the ads or whether they were being run in other Muslim countries or just Pakistan.
Meanwhile, an actress who appeared in the film has lost her legal challenge to have the 14-minute trailer taken down from YouTube.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin rejected the request from Cindy Lee Garcia because she wasn’t able to produce any agreement with the makers of Innocence of Muslims and the man behind the film hadn’t been served with a copy of her lawsuit.
The Advert clips show Obama and Clinton condemning the film which has sparked angry protests around the world.