We are hearing horrific stories about violence in protests in Pakistan against Danish cartoons. This is neither normal nor expected. We are all surprised to hear such news. I have talked to family and friends in Pakistan and everybody says that this is not right. Nobody supports this mode of protesting. Endangering the lives of civilians in Danish embassies or companies while attacking them is not correct at all. Burning vehicles on roads is total madness. These vehicles and small shops belong to poor or middle-class people. What did they do wrong? Why should they pay for this?
But this all is not done by the general public. There are news in local newspapers that this violence is always started before the protestants reach the scene. I also heard interviews of protest organizers in BBC Pakistan news and they said that violence broke out a couple of hours before their protest was to start. Newspaper also told of groups of mysterious people doing violence before the processions reached there. So there are some elements who induce violence into these protests, and most probably they are international. The general public is against this violence. This is evident from the fact that there were huge protests in Pakistan some time ago against Iraq war but none were violent. I also heard of the protest organizer saying in the news that now the protests are against the Pakistan govt. Anyways, i think that the protest organizers should now volunteerily call-off their peaceful protests so that the trouble-makers cannot take advantage of them any more.
Having said that, we also believe that Danish paper didn't do right by publishing those cartoons. We love our Prophet (pbuh) much more than our parents and ourselves. It was very painful to see these cartoons. But the protest against it should always be peaceful and legal. We have protested by voting in online polls and signing petitions etc and these methods are legal.