More protesters poured in Tahrir Square on Friday following prayers to continue demonstration against the controversial film The Innocence of Muslims, which has instilled anger throughout the Arab world for offending Prophet Muhammad.
“We demand the removal of the American ambassador,” said Abdel Sayyed, a protester in the square on Friday, “here, we are all as Muslims to defend the prophet.” His sentiments were echoed through many other protesters in the square. “We understand the United States has no relation with the making of the film,” he added, “but they should have prevented it from being distributed after it was made.” Groups of demonstrators circled the square demanding justice for offending Islam, calling for action against the United States, Israel, and Copts living abroad.
Crowds carried bearded men in police uniforms on their shoulders, calling for the law of God to be implemented. Many Islamic blocs have called for allowing Egyptian police officers to grow beards in observance of their faith.
Egyptian security forces constructed a concrete wall at Simon Bolivar Square, blocking access to the US Embassy from Tahrir Square. Although most protesters remained in the square itself, a faction of younger men engaged security forces in the vicinity of the embassy, hurling rocks over the wall. Clashes between them and the police culminated in an exchange of rocks and tear gas by Kasr Al-Aini bridge.
The Muslim Brotherhood, who initially called for nationwide protests after Friday Prayers, announced instead that it would be in Tahrir for “symbolic” protesting, yielding lower turnouts.
The film’s creator is believed to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Christian living in Los Angeles who had been operating under the alias “Sam Bacile.” He has been convicted in the past for crimes relating to financial corruption.