Afghan cleric blames 'Obama, Jews' for diplomat deaths

Sep 15, 2012 - 11:44
  • Afghan demonstrators hold up an effigy of US President Barack Obama during an anti-US demonstration in Ghanikhail district of Nangarhar province on September 14, 2012. PHOTO/ AFP

A top Afghan cleric on Friday said US President Barack Obama and "American Jews" were responsible for the deaths of US diplomats in Libya, but urged only peaceful protest against an anti-Islam film.

"This is the work of American Jews, their movie has hurt the sentiments of Muslims around the world," Enayatullah Baleegh told several thousand worshippers at the Pul-e-Khishti mosque in central Kabul.

Baleegh said it was not the first time Americans had insulted Islam and said the work by "two Americans" -- apparently referring to the film-makers -- had resulted in the deaths of American diplomats in Libya.

"These two Jews and President Obama should be held accountable for the death of their diplomats, because it shows the incompetency of the Obama administration and that he could not control such an insulting act," said the cleric.

Mystery remains over who is behind the film, amid conflicting claims of Jewish or Coptic Christian involvement.

US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in an attack on Tuesday reportedly by a mob angered by the film.

Baleegh said the "filthy" producers should be held accountable for any US soldiers killed in Afghanistan as a result of Muslim anger over the film, but told worshippers that if they demonstrate "don't let it be violent".

Afghanistan is a devout Muslim country where anything seen as insulting to Islam is taken very seriously, often with a violent response.

Riots killed around 40 people earlier this year after US troops burnt copies of the Koran on a military base.

Around 117,000 NATO troops are based in Afghanistan helping Karzai's government put down a 10-year Taliban insurgency.

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