Thousands of Muslims gathered near Downing Street yesterday to protest against the defamatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (saw).
A leaflet issued by the Muslim Action forum (MAF), who organised the rally, said the recent republication of caricatures of Muhammad (saw) by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and other media outlets is a “stark reminder” that freedom of speech is “regularly utilised to insult personalities that others consider sacred”.
The MAF also expressed “deep regret” at the Paris shootings that led to 12 deaths, stating that it was a “violation of Islamic law”.
A number of speakers addressed the crowd while there were communal prayers before a delegation took a petition signed by more than 100,000 British Muslims to 10 Downing Street.
It calls for “global civility” and says the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) are “an affront to the norms of civilised society”.
Shaykh Tauqir Ishaq, a senior spokesman for the Forum, said “Perpetual mistakes by extremists, either by cold-blooded killers or uncivilised expressionists, cannot be the way forward for a civilised society.
“The peace-loving majority of people must become vociferous in promoting global civility and responsible debate. At this time of heightened tension and emotion, it is crucial that both sides show restraint to prevent further incidents of this nature occurring.”
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Shaykh Noor Siddiqi, another Forum representative, said “The actions of the UK media in not publishing the cartoons is highly appreciated by British Muslims and we hope that this kind of self-restraint and mutual respect will ultimately lead to a harmonious society.”
5Pillars editorial team would like to commend the Muslim Action Forum for mobilising people to defend the honour of our beloved Prophet (saw). May Allah (swt) reward the organisers and all those who attended abundantly. Ameen.