Conflict & Justice

Indonesia: anti-US protests turn ugly


Indonesian protesters from a group called "Sharia For Indonesia" throw a demonstration against the U.S. government to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks outside the US embassy in Jakarta on September 11, 2012.



Anti-American rallies held by hardline Islamic groups in Jakarta appear to be sliding into disorder. 

The Jakarta Globe, which puts the protester headcount at about 1,000, reports that riot police and demonstrators exchanged stones and tear gas grenades. Al-Jazeera reporter Step Vaessan, who counted 500 protesters at the scene, has taken to Twitter to describe flying rocks and molotov cocktails in front of the Indonesia's American embassy.

And Agence-France Presse reports cops using water cannons and warning shots to scare off the crowd.

These are the first significantly violent scenes prompted by the low budget, anti-Muslim film "Innoncence of Muslims" to break out in Southeast Asia. The movers and shakers here are the Islamic Defenders Front, still on high from thwarting Lady Gaga's planned performance earlier this year, and the global Hizbut Tahrir network, which has active chapters in Indonesia.

More rallies are expected later this week in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, and on Tuesday afternoon in Bangkok, Thailand.