Muslim Cleric Warns Americans to Leave Indian Kashmir

Posted September 14th, 2012 at 4:15 am (UTC-5)
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A prominent Muslim cleric in Indian-controlled Kashmir is urging Americans to leave the Himalayan region, warning that escalating tensions over an anti-Islam film could put them in danger.

Clips from the low-budget American made movie depict the Prophet Muhammad as a villainous, homosexual, child-molesting buffoon, among other overtly insulting claims. The trailer is posted online and has already triggered violent protests in Libya and Egypt.

On Friday, cleric Bashiruddin Ahmad said Americans should be proactive and immediately leave Kashmir for their safety, saying the film may incite unrest in the Muslim-majority valley. Ahmad said the film hurts Muslim sentiment.

He expressed solidarity with protesters around the world and said countries such as the United States should be careful in releasing such films that could offend Muslims.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in full by both nations. Since 1989, Muslim separatists have been fighting for independence from India or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan. At least 50,000 people have died in the violence.