About 30 Muslims representatives led by Imam Mustafa Sahakitch Hassan of Changpuak Mosque and as the advisor chairman of the Islamic Committee of Chiang Mai, gathered outside the US Consulate-General's office to protest against the controversial anti-Islam film, “Innocence of Muslims”.
He delivered the protest letter through Apichart Buddhawong, the US Consulate General official on political affairs, so as to pass on their statement to US Consulate General Kenneth Foster and US Ambassador Kristie Kenney, who was also in Chiang Mai.
In addition, Somkid Lathisat, a Muslim representative read out a statement denouncing the poorly made two-hour movie that was produced by a group of Coptic Christians in the US. The film has sparked violence and protests by Muslims in about 20 countries.
About 20 police were deployed to maintain peace and order at the venue. The protest proceeded without incident.
The day before, an estimated 500 Muslims rallied in front of the US embassy in Bangkok in a peaceful protest against the film.
In response to increasing tensions and reactions to the film - and a more recent anti-Islamic cartoon in French publication - Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said she has ordered police to step up security at protest sites.
She also called on protesters to refrain from violence while noting that anti-American sentiments expressed at the protests were unlikely to affect Thai-US relations.
Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa said the protests in Thailand were symbolic and were unlikely to have led to trouble.
Tight security was also in place on Sept.19 at Chiang Mai University's Political Science and Public Administration Faculty where US ambassador Kristie Kenney spoke on the US election. The lecture passed without incident.
Meanwhile, Thailand will call on the international community to seek a solution to end turmoil which led to the death of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said this will be a major topic of discussion during the UN General Assembly in New York next week.
"Thailand doesn't want to see violence erupt and people attack each other. Many countries might raise this issue at the UN meeting," said the minister, who added that such violence would not happen in Thailand.
Front page photo:
Muslim representatives hand a letter to a US consulate representative that condemned a controversial anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” in front of the US consulate-general’s office in Chiang Mai. More than 30 people took part in the rally that was peaceful.
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