- Box labeled "Cofin of Obama" burns with American flag in Bangladesh
- Violent protests wrack Pakistan, where at least 15 die, according to authorities
- Protests serve those who would turn back Arab Spring reforms, analyst says
- The United States, France and Germany all close some diplomatic facilities on Friday
Read a version of this story in Arabic
(CNN) -- Amid violent protests Friday that left 15 dead in Pakistan, a growing chorus of Muslims called on their fellow faithful to examine their own role in the chaos.
"The mindless and criminal actions of a few in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and elsewhere, which have already led to the deaths of innocents, threaten to do a great deal of harm and never seem to make a sensible point," Salman Shaikh, a Muslim and director of the Brookings Doha Center, wrote in a CNN commentary.
In fact, Shaikh said, the protests do more to serve those who would like to turn back the democratic goals of Arab Spring movements across the Middle East and North Africa than they express legitimate complaints over the mocking of Islam's Prophet Mohammed.
Not all of the protests, which began last Tuesday, have been violent. Rallies in Lebanon and Malaysia on Friday were relatively peaceful.
The protests were sparked by "The Innocence of Muslims," an amateurish 14-minute online film clip that mocks Mohammed and has offended many Muslims worldwide.
Then, on Wednesday, the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the prophet that also fueled anger, prompting French officials to close diplomatic facilities in 20 countries Friday.
"It is no coincidence that the protests first took root in weakened states, such as Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, which are in the early stages of democratic transitions," Shaikh wrote. "While not all the protesters may know it, their actions are helping those who want to derail those transitions."
Muslim Raheel Dhattiwala, writing an essay Friday in The Hindu newspaper titled "The loneliness of a moderate Muslim," said that "if trashy lampooning by a convicted fraudster cannot be ignored, who cares if we shout from rooftops that ours is a 'religion of peace.' "
Such messages seemed to find some expression Friday in Libya, where protesters in Benghazi marched against the violent protests that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and called for the disarmament of local militias.
Stevens and three other Americans died after a September 11 protest at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi over "The Innocence of Muslims."
Protesters angry about the film also breached the U.S. Embassy in Cairo last Tuesday, setting off days of protests in at least 20 countries.
Among Friday's other developments:
Violent protests in Pakistan
Violent protests blossomed across Pakistan despite the government -- anticipating unrest -- suspending cell phone service Thursday night.
At least 15 people died and 78 were injured in protests in Peshawar and Karachi. Two police officers were among those killed in Karachi, authorities said.
Protesters burned three cinemas and two banks in Karachi, two senior police officials said. Protesters also torched two cinemas in Peshawar, authorities said.
In Karachi, angry protesters also smashed windows, set fire to tires in the streets and threw rocks at police who tried to keep them from government offices and shops, according to a senior police official. The violence there claimed at least nine lives, including at least two police officers, and injured 28 others, emergency spokesman Asif Farooqi said.
Protesters tried to reach the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, but police using tear gas and firing into the air turned them back, Farooqi said.
Local television news channels showed protesters throwing rocks at a KFC restaurant in Karachi.
In the northwest Pakistan city of Mardan, where police said thousands protested peacefully earlier in the day, a crowd of teenagers formed after Friday prayers and made their way to a church, senior police officials Khalid Nasim said.
"Despite the 15 police officers we had stationed at the church, the mob managed to break in and vandalize and destroy it," Nasim said.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thanked the government of Pakistan for its efforts to protect U.S. facilities during the protests and deplored the loss of life.
"As I have said on numerous occasions, the violence we have seen cannot be tolerated," she said.
In Peshawar, six people died and at least 50 people were injured -- including three police officers, according to Mujahid Khan, a spokesman for the city's emergency rescue service.
Crowds of protesters were reported in Islamabad, and CNN affiliate Geo TV reported protests in Rawalpindi and Karachi.
The protests come a day after about 100 children in Karachi chanted anti-American slogans during a protest in the coastal Pakistani city, a police official said.
Video showed children repeating an adult voice that said "Death to America" and "Any friend of America is a traitor."
Government officials warned Friday of "strict action" in response to the destruction of property.
"We have also alerted the army; if things get worse, they will come in," Pakistan's interior minister, Rehman Malik, told reporters Friday afternoon in Islamabad.
"I said it yesterday and I'm saying it again, we mean business," he said.
Other protests in Lebanon, Malaysia, Bangladesh
Demonstrators turned out across Bangladesh on Friday to protest the film, according to the state-run BSS news agency.
Video showed protesters in Dhaka carrying signs with slogans such as "Kill us, but don't insult our Prophet Mohammed" and burning a box draped in an American flag, labeled "Cofin of Obama."
In Lebanon, supporters of Hezbollah, a militant Islamist group deemed a terrorist organization by the United States, marched Friday in a peaceful demonstration "in support of the Prophet Mohammed," Hezbollah TV channel al-Manar reported Friday.
Video showed a stream of people marching slowly down the streets with signs reading, "Loyalty and the victory of the Prophet Mohammed."
Bernama, the Malaysian National News Agency, reported that thousands of Malaysians protested peacefully Friday against the film and cartoons in Kuala Lumpur.
Khairy Jamaluddin, head of the youth wing of the Malaysian political party United Malays National Organization, said the United States and France should take immediate steps to punish those behind the film and cartoons, according to Bernama.
"If they do not do so, we should regard that as a direct insult to Islam," he said, according to the news agency.
Diplomatic facilities close
In Indonesia, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, its consular offices in Surabaya and Bali and two other facilities were closed Friday because of expected demonstrations. The U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur closed Friday morning before the protests there began.
The government of France, bracing for possible backlash against the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, closed facilities in 20 countries Friday, according to a statement on the Foreign Affairs Ministry website.
Germany also closed its embassy in Sudan's capital city of Khartoum on Friday in anticipation of protests over the cartoon published in Charlie Hebdo, state-run Ashorooq TV reported.
"Security measures have been tightened at other diplomatic missions abroad," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.
Last week, protesters in Sudan's capital city managed to get inside a compound that is shared by the German and British diplomatic missions, according to the foreign ministers of both nations.
Tunisian authorities ban all demonstrations Friday
Seeking to avoid a repeat of what happened one week earlier, Tunisia's government banned all demonstrations Friday, the state-run Tunisian News Agency (TAP) reported, citing a statement from the Interior Ministry.
The report said the protest ban is "in accordance with the provisions of the state of emergency" that has been in place since the January ouster of its longtime president, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.
The statement refers to "calls launched via social networks" to demonstrate over the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. And it comes a week after four protesters died and 49 were wounded during an assault on the U.S. Embassy in the capital of Tunis, TAP previously reported, citing Souad Sadraoui, interim general director of Charles Nicolle Hospital.
Presidential spokesman Adnene Mansar denounced Charlie Hebdo's publication of the cartoons as a "deliberate insult," adding that "some circles are deliberately seeking to stir up tension in relations binding the Muslim and Western worlds."
"We should not fall in the trap of provocation, we should rather denounce these acts by peaceful means," Mansar said, according to a TAP report.
In another TAP report, National Constituent Assembly Speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar said that the bloody September 14 protests "do not reflect the mood of the moderate and tolerant Tunisian people."
"Political, ideological and religious violence is (no) longer tolerated in present-day Tunisia," Jaafar said in Strasbourg in eastern France, calling abiding by the "rule of law ... an absolute priority."
CNN's Amir Ahmed, Shaan Khan and Reza Sayah contributed to this report.