In Rare Public Appearance, Hezbollah Chief Warns U.S. Over anti-Islam Film

During protest in Beirut's southern suburbs against film mocking Prophet Mohammad, Hassan Nasrallah says U.S. will face grave consequences around the Muslim world.

Reuters
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Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made a rare public appearance on Monday to warn the United States that it faced further anger and repercussions across the Muslim world unless it suppressed a video that mocks the Prophet Mohammad.

"The world should know our anger will not be a passing outburst but the start of a serious movement that will continue on the level of the Muslim nation to defend the Prophet of God," Nasrallah told tens of thousands of marchers in Beirut's southern suburbs.

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"The world needs to understand our links to God's prophet ... It did not understand the level of the insult that God's prophet was subjected to through some of the clips of this insulting film," he said, to roars of applause and cheers from the crowd.

Nasrallah called on governments across the world to censor websites carrying clips from the amateurish film, produced in California, and urged Muslims to boycott those sites.

"America, which uses the pretext of freedom of expression ... needs to understand that putting out the whole film will have very grave consequences around the world," he added.

Nasrallah has lived in hiding to avoid assassination since Hezbollah fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006.

Thousands of Lebanese protesters chanted "Death to America, Death to Israel" and marched through Beirut's Shi'ite southern suburbs on Monday.

The peaceful protest, which came after a weekend of violent demonstrations across Arab capitals in which several U.S. embassies were attacked, stayed well away from U.S. mission on the city's northeastern outskirts.

It followed a three-day visit to Lebanon by Pope Benedict who used his trip to call for reconciliation between Muslims and Christians.

On Friday, one person was killed in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli in protests against the film which depicts the prophet as a womanizer and homosexual.

The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed last week in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi.

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters during a public appearance at an anti-U.S. protest in Beirut's southern suburbs September 17, 2012. Credit: Reuters
Hezbollah supporters wave their flag and hold up Arabic banners that read, "America equals terrorism" during a rally in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 17, 2012.Credit: AP

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