“Are you ready for jihad against America?” Tiny Minority of Extremists Update from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Thousands of protesters took to the streets yesterday, chanting ”Death to America” and calling for holy war as outrage persisted over an airstrike that heavily damaged a remote border village.
Pakistani authorities suspect Al Qaeda operatives had gathered last week at Damadola to plan attacks early this year in Afghanistan and Pakistan, when the meeting was torn apart by US missiles, an intelligence official said.
President General Pervez Musharraf is a key US ally in the war on terror, but many in the Islamic country resent those ties. Feelings intensified after the deaths of 13 villagers in the US attack on Jan. 13.
Officials believe at least four foreign militants also may have died, including an Al Qaeda explosives and chemical weapons specialist and a son-in-law of the terror network’s number two leader, Ayman al-Zawahri.
Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal, or United Action Forum, an opposition Islamic coalition, has organized anti-American protests across the country, the latest held yesterday.
The largest was held in Peshawar, capital of North West Frontier Province, where Damadola is located.
Several thousand people marched from two mosques, chanting ”jihad [holy war] is our way” and burning effigies of President Bush. Smaller demonstrations were staged in Lahore and the volatile border town of Wana. No violence was reported.
Several thousand people. Versus less than 50 at that much-vaunted Free Muslims rally against terror last year.
”Are you ready for jihad against America?” Dost Mohammed, a coalition party leader, asked the gathering in Peshawar.
Hundreds of protesters, most wearing white prayer caps, raised their hands.
”We will keep fighting jihad with our pens and our voices. If there is need, we will fight with other means,” Shahid Shamsi, a spokesman for the religious alliance, said when asked if it was advocating armed struggle.
”Our mujahideen have fought against the Russians in Afghanistan and in Kashmir. We will fight if an aggressor occupies us,” he said.
Pakistani lawyers, meanwhile, held separate protests in various cities. In the capital, Islamabad, about 100 lawyers protested in front of the Supreme Court, chanting ”death to America” and ”death to Musharraf.”
Pakistani lawyers. Speaking of uneducated rabble manipulated into extremism by craven Islamist leaders.