Anti-U.S. Protests Waning in Muslim World
More than a dozen countries in the Muslim world rocked by protests linked to a controversial anti-Islam movie in recent days were relatively calm Saturday, but protests flared up far away from the region in Australia.
In Cairo, the initial scene of the violent protests, where demonstrators repeatedly clashed with riot police since last Tuesday, the government appeared to be taking decisive steps to end the unrest. Tuesday also saw an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Hundreds of Egyptian security forces, some of them in plainclothes, pushed protestors out of Tahrir Square and made arrests Saturday morning, witnesses said. Security forces even tore down a massive image of the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, in U.S. prison for involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, that was put up by Salafist protesters shortly after the 2011 revolution.
The actions of the security forces were one of the first signs that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi may be taking more concrete steps to tamp down protests since pressure has ramped up from the U.S. government in recent days.