Al-Qaida Leader Calls for More Protests

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 13 2012 3:48 PM

Al-Qaida Leader Calls for More Protests Over Anti-Islamic Film

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A grab taken from a 2006 video showing Ayman al-Zawahiri

Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri purportedly released an audio message praising last month’s attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, insisting that a movie made in the United States that mocks the Prophet Mohammed shows how the United States is waging a “crusader Zionist war” against Muslims, reports Reuters. Zawahiri added that there should be more protests outside U.S. embassies.

“In the pretext of personal freedom and freedom of expression, America allowed the production of a movie that was aimed to defame the beloved Prophet Mohammed, even though this alleged personal freedom that they boast about didn't stop the Americans from torturing the Muslim prisoners,” he says in the audio that was posted in several Islamist websites, according to CNN.

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Although Obama’s administration has clearly condemned the amateur film Innocence of Muslims that was made by an Egyptian-born American citizen, officials have insisted it could not ban the movie without violating the constitutional right to free speech.

Zawahiri also criticized President Obama for the Democratic Party’s pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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