At least 1,000 Muslim protesters gathered outside the gates of Downing Street to protest against the depictions of the Prophet Mohammed in Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine.
The protestors, many of whom were divided into groups of men and women, gathered just yards from the Cenotaph which remembers Britain’s war dead, and blocked half of Whitehall as they demonstrated.
It comes weeks after two terrorists attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based satirical magazine which had published images of the Prophet Muhammad, killing 12 staff and wounding 11 others.
The protest was organised by the Muslim Action Forum, which said that the Charlie Hebdo cartoons had helped “sow the seeds of hatred” and had damaged community relations.
One young child, who appeared to be under the age of 10, stood next to a placard displaying the message: “Charlie and the abuse factory”.
A series of Muslim leaders addressed the crowd from a platform outside the Ministry of Defence, with the message “Be careful with Muhammad”.
The meeting was organised by the Muslim Action Forum, which was handing out leaflets about the demonstration on Whitehall.
The leaflet said: “The recent re-publishing of the cartoons, caricatures and depictions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by Charlie Hebdo magazine and other publishers is a stark reminder that freedom of speech if regularly utilised to insult personalities that others consider sacred.
“Such actions are deliberating insulting and provoking to Muslims worldwide as British citizens, we believe that these publications will continue to ‘sow the seeds of hatred’ and damage community relations.
SOURCE: Christopher Hope