Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday called for nationwide protests Friday after a film deemed offensive to Islam sparked a deadly attack in Libya and furious protests in Cairo.
The Brotherhood calls “for peaceful protests on Friday outside all the main mosques in all of Egypt’s provinces to denounce offences to religion and to the Prophet,” the Muslim Brotherhood’s Secretary General Mahmud Hussein said in a statement.
He also urged all “national forces to join the protests.”
The Muslim Brotherhood, from which President Mohammed Mursi emerged, is the largest and most organized political force in the country.
The call for protests comes after a film portraying the life of the Prophet Mohammed, which touches on themes of paedophilia and homosexuality, sparked a deadly attack in Libya that left America's ambassador Chris Stevens and three American officials dead.
The film was produced by Israeli-American Sam Bacile, according to the Wall Street Journal, but Egyptian media say that some Egyptian Copts living in the U.S. were involved in the production.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) strongly condemned the film which it described as “a racist crime and a failed attempt to provoke sectarian strife between the two elements of the nation: Muslims and Christians.”
The film, which depicts the Prophet Mohammed as promiscuous and talking about killing children, “goes far beyond all reasonable boundaries of the freedoms of opinion and expression.”
“The FJP affirms that both elements of the Egyptian people -- Christians and Muslims -- have been and will always be united in the face of such despicable attempts that seek to foment conflict in this homeland, and to throw it in a deep abyss, a never-ending spiral of violence,” the party said.