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The PJ Tatler

Bridget Johnson


October 22, 2012 - 6:11 am

A senior Iranian cleric declared the Hajj to be a great time to stoke up protests against the Innocence of Muslims film.

The Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lives, begins two days from now.

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz told reporters Saturday that the kingdom doesn’t expect any trouble to be caused by Iranian pilgrims, who have provoked police clashes in the past by staging political protests.

“Secretary-General of Ahlulbayt World Assembly Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Hassan Akhtari described Hajj ceremonies as an opportunity for Muslims to cry out their protests against the blasphemous movie,” reported Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency today. “…The film has been financed by more than 100 Jews and produced by an American-Israeli man in the US.”

The writer and producer of the anti-Muhammed film has been identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian from Egypt living near Los Angeles.

There have been protests against the film at U.S. installations in Pakistan, Indonesia, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and elsewhere.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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