UK Muslims rally over Prophet cartoon
Thousands of British Muslims have taken to the streets in the capital, London, to protest against the blasphemous cartoon of Prophet Mohammad published in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The protesters marched on Sunday on London’s Downing Street holding signs reading “Charlie and the abuse factory” and “Learn some manners,” stressing their respect and love for the Prophet.
The group of demonstrators also condemned and expressed “deep regret” at last month’s attacks in the French capital, Paris, including against Charlie Hedbo’s offices, saying the raids were a “violation of Islamic law.”
Protest organizer the Muslim Action Forum (MAF) handed out leaflets, saying the recent republishing of cartoon and depictions of Prophet Mohammad is a “stark reminder” that freedom of speech is “regularly utilized to insult personalities that others consider sacred.”
A number of Muslim leaders addressed the crowd outside the UK’s Ministry of Defense, before a delegation delivered a petition to Prime Minister David Cameron’s office on 10 Downing Street.
The petition contained the signatures of more than 100,000 British Muslims highlighting that the majority of Muslims across the world call for “Global Civility” rather than the destruction of human life.
This is while a smaller rival demonstration by far-right protesters was held on the opposite side of the street.
On January 14, the French weekly, whose Paris office had been attacked by two gunmen a week earlier, once again published a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad on the cover of its new edition despite warnings that the move is provocative. It sparked waves of angry reactions and protests from Muslims around the world.
The attack against the magazine, which killed 12 people, is largely believed to have been launched over Charlie Hebdo’s previous cartoons of the Prophet.
The al-Qaeda branch in Yemen later claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo, saying it chose and supported Said and Cherif Kouachi, the two brothers who allegedly carried out the deadly assault, although the claim has not been substantiated.