200 people take part in peaceful Blackburn protest
6:00pm Sunday 21st October 2012 in News
MORE than 200 Muslims gathered in a Blackburn park to show their opposition to an ‘insulting’ film posted on the internet.
Men, women and children gathered in Corporation Park on Saturday, for more than an hour, to show their disgust towards the American-produced film, 'The Innocence of Muslims', which was posted on YouTube.
Organised by the Muslim Defence League, committee members pledged to continue to support their Prophet and not allow this film to tarnish his reputation.
Many protesters carried A3 banners emblazoned with the words ‘Our Prophet, Our Honour’.
Addressing the crowds, one member of the league, said: “This incident is not the first and it certainly won’t be the last to insult Islam. We should not let this bother us as we know the reputation of the Prophet can never be tarnished.”
It was the latest in a series of protests being held against the film across the UK.
In September, more than 10,000 Muslims gathered outside the offices of Google, which owns YouTube, in London in an attempt to force the company to remove the film from the web.
However, to date, the film which insults the Prophet Mohammad and demeans Muslims, according to protesters, remains available to watch.
Organisers who had met with police prior to the protest said they would have liked to have seen more members of the Muslim community to turn out for the demonstration.
Committee member Haseeb Nawaz said: “We are simply here to show our offence to the video recently aired online.
“There has not been a bad turn out, but I think the late notice has put off some people from attending.”
More than a dozen officers policed the area close to the conservatory, while reinforcements gathered in vehicles close to the entrances.
The demonstration passed off smoothly, with protesters clashing with police just once after they went back on their word not to use megaphone equipment.
A Lancashire police spokesman said: “We were aware of the planned demonstration on Saturday and we worked closely with the organisers and our partners at Blackburn with Darwen Council to provide an appropriate policing response, which allowed the right to a peaceful protest but also protected and reassured members of the public.”