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US pastor sparks strike

Srinagar, Oct. 7 (Reuters): Kashmir’s main city ground to a halt today, going on strike on the eve of the last round of elections over a US preacher branding the Prophet Mohammad “a terrorist”.

Shops, businesses and schools were closed in Srinagar during the strike called by the Kashmir Traders’ Federation and supported by religious and social groups.

The protest was sparked by a newspaper report quoting Reverend Jerry Falwell’s comments to the American network CBS.

The Baptist pastor said he thought Islam’s most sacred religious figure “was a terrorist” and had “read enough... by both Muslims and non-Muslims (to decide) he (the Prophet) was a violent man, a man of war”, a CBS web site report of a 60 Minutes interview quoted him as saying.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference described the remarks in a statement as a “war against humanity” and called Christians “terrorists”. “They wreaked havoc in Vietnam, killed innocent people in Iraq and are responsible for the killings of Palestinians,” the Hurriyat said.

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