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At Least 2,500 In Kyrgyzstan Protest Caricatures Of Muhammad

JALAL-ABAD, Kyrgyzstan -- At least 2,500 people have protested in the Kyrgyz city of Jalal-Abad against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, saying cartoons like those published by French weekly Charlie Hebdo "insult the feelings of religious believers."

The January 26 rally in downtown Jalal-Abad, in southern Kyrgyzstan, was permitted by city authorities.

Demonstrators held posters in Kyrgyz, Arabic, English, Russian, and Uzbek, saying "I Love My Prophet Muhammad," "We are against the caricatures," "Hands off Our Prophet!" and "I am a Muslim and I am against Bombings and Terrorism."

Similar rallies have been held recently in Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, and in another southern city, Osh.

Islamic traditions historically have deeper roots in the country's southern regions, including Jalal-Abad and Osh.