EGYPT: Shows of support for protesters in Iran, Turkey, Malaysia and elsewhere
Across the Muslim world, worshipers and leading clerics on Friday expressed support for the uprising in Egypt.
In Malaysia's biggest city, Kuala Lumpur, hundreds marched outside the U.S. Embassy, calling on the U.S. to pressure Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately, the Associated Press reported. Protesters, including many from Malaysia's Islamic opposition party, shouted "Down, down, Mubarak."
Police used water cannons to break up the crowd and arrested several demonstrators.
In the Turkish capital, Ankara, dozens of protesters marched toward Egypt's embassy. One of the speakers, Mehmet Pamak, head of the pro-Islamic Scientific and Cultural Research Foundation, called Mubarak a puppet of Israel.
In Iran, top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told worshipers at Friday prayers that Mubarak betrayed his people because of his close alliance with Israel and the U.S.
"America's control over Egypt's leaders has ... turned Egypt into the biggest enemy of Palestine and turned it into the greatest refuge for Zionists," Khamenei said, according to the AP.
"This explosion we see among the people of Egypt is the appropriate response to this great betrayal that the traitor dictator committed against his people," Khamenei said, without mentioning Mubarak by name.
In Madrid, members of the Spanish branch of the human rights group Amnesty International handed the Egyptian Embassy what they said was a petition with 86,000 signatures supporting the Egyptian protesters.
Amnesty International members gathered outside the embassy and held up a banner that read "A New Egypt With Human Rights."
In Iraq, residents seizing on the Egypt protests staged two small demonstrations to protest corruption in their own security forces, rampant unemployment and scant electricity and water.
About 100 Iraqis gathered in central Baghdad's Mutanabi book market to complain about limited civil liberties and a lack of services. "No to the restriction of freedoms," read a protest banner.
In Syria, where authoritarian President Bashar Assad has resisted calls for political freedoms, an online campaign called for protests in the capital, Damascus, on Friday, but plainclothes police deployed in key areas faced no protesters, the AP reported.
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske