And see this outstanding piece at the Wall Street Journal, "Amid Chaos, Extremists Spur Violence: Inflamed by Anti-Islam Video, Marchers Target U.S. and Other Western Allies; Iran Calls for a 'United Response'":
BEIRUT—Many of the protests that spread across the Muslim world on Friday, with violent mobs targeting diplomatic compounds of the U.S. and its allies started out as relatively small and restrained but rapidly grew out of control when groups of extremists riled up the crowd.Continue reading.
Similar scenes were repeated in parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, as crowds of men and women carried placards denouncing the video trailer for a purported film called "Innocence of Muslims," and directed their anger toward the U.S. and Israel. American flags were burned in Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria and Bangladesh during protests.
The sudden eruption of anger against the U.S. and its allies isn't new in the Islamic world. But the violence targeted at Americans in the fledging democracies of the Arab Spring presents a precarious challenge for its newly elected leaders. They must balance defending the U.S., an important ally that helped them come to power, against appeasing the raw sentiments of a minority of Islamist radicals with the power to destabilize the region.
In Benghazi, Libya—where a violent attack Tuesday on the U.S. Consulate resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans—several conservative imams preached a message of tolerance and nonviolence across their mosques during the Friday noon prayer.
Approximately 100 men stood in front of the city's largest hotel shouting slogans against the U.S. and the anti-Islamic video. Unlike Tuesday night, Friday's protest was muted, with no one brandishing guns. Many in the crowd carried the flag used by militant Islamists,
Mohammed al-Mifty, 25 years old, carried a hand-drawn sign saying, "They degrade our prophet and no one cares, but an American dies and the world turns upside down." His motivation for taking to the streets Friday was to defend Islam, he said. That is the reason why he also participated in the protest on Tuesday evening in front of the U.S. consulate.
The violence also reached Tunisia, one of the most moderate Muslim countries and the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Three people died during clashes as protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound, climbing over walls and breaking a locked gate. They set fire to cars parked in the embassy parking lot, and the American school sending huge plumes of black smoke into the air.
Demonstrators brought down the American flag and raised the black flag common to militant Islamist movements. Three people were killed and 28 injured, according to Tunisia's state-controlled news agency.
A Tunisian official said U.S. embassy security personnel gave Tunisian security forces permission to enter the embassy grounds and push out protesters with tear gas and bird shot after they forced their way into the compound. Armed with rocks and Molotov cocktails, protesters clashed with police into the night in the streets around the sprawling U.S. Embassy compound.
They later set the administration building of the nearby American school on fire. Around nightfall, a small group of protesters breached the walls of the U.S. compound and set a small fire inside the embassy building. according to witnesses.
A local Tunisian staff member at the U.S. Embassy said American staffers had been told to stay home in anticipation of the protests. The American School had similarly told students to stay home on Friday.
UPDATE: Linked by Barbara at American Freedom. Thanks!