For more on Islam and violence, watch this:
Police fired tear gas at crowds of stone-throwing Muslim youths who set fire to churches and looted shops in the capital Niamey after authorities banned a meeting called by local Islamic leaders. A police station was attacked and at least two police cars burned.
"They offended our Prophet Mohammad, that's what we didn't like," said Amadou Abdoul Ouahab, who took part in the demonstrations.
President Mahamadou Issoufou said all five of the dead were civilians, with four of them killed inside burned churches or bars. He said an enquiry would be opened and those responsible for organising the violence would be punished.
"Those who pillage religious sites and profane them, those who persecute and kill their Christian compatriots or foreigners who live on our soil, have understood nothing of Islam," he said in a televised address.
The president added, however, that he shared the disgust of Muslims who felt offended by the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad and that freedom of expression should not mean liberty to insult religious beliefs.
Issoufou joined a march in Paris last weekend alongside French President Francois Hollande, in the wake of a gun attack that killed 12 people at the offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which had angered many Muslims by printing cartoons of Mohammad in the past.
But Issoufou said on Saturday he had wanted to demonstrate his opposition to terrorism and not support for the newspaper itself. (Continue Reading.)
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Niger: Ten Killed, Churches Torched in Cartoon Riots
But Islam is peaceful and tolerant and Muhammad supported freedom of speech and open criticism of his claims, right?