Rioting Muslims took to the streets of Athens on Sunday afternoon, in protest against the film that mocked Mohammed. Around 1,000 Muslims hurled bottles and other objects at police that were trying to prevent the rioters descending on the U.S. Embassy.
Protesting Muslims gathered in Omonia Square holding banners proclaiming "We demand an immediate punishment for those who tried to mock our Prophet Mohammad" Ekathimerini reported. Shouting "Allah is great" they assaulted police with bottles, stones and slabs of marble they broke from the sidewalks, as police tried to prevent the protesters approaching the U.S. Embassy.
Greek riot police resorted to tear gas to control the protesters and protect the security zone they had established around the U.S. Embassy. Hellas Frappe described the scene in central Athens as a "war zone."
According to To Vima police made 30 arrests as the rioters caused damage to parked cars, motorcycles and shops. The protests led Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) to dub Athens the "New Kabul" as they deplored the illegal gathering of "fanatical Islamists."
Ironically the Head of the Muslim Union of Greece, Naim El-Ghandour, had declared on Friday that Muslims in Greece "stand firmly against violence. There are people with extreme views among us too, but the vast majority of us are not fanatics." (Greek Reporter). He stated that Muslims in Greece were more concerned about other problems such as the economy and racism, rather than an anti-Islam film, as he accused Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of being a racist.
In the midst of their protests the Muslims took a prayer break, then returned to smashing store windows and vandalizing property.