Muslisms Protest Outside Google Headquarters Against A Blasphemous Movie Trailer
A reported 10,000 Muslims took to the streets outside the UK's Google headquarters on Sunday (14th Oct.) to protest the trailer of an offensive American movie named 'Innocence of Muslims'. YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, has refused to take down the trailer which is blasphemous towards the Prophet Mohammed, portraying him as a “fool and a womaniser”.
Various speakers turned up on the day as representatives for the crowd. Sheikh Faiz Al-Aqtab Siddiqui is quoted by the Telegraph, saying: "Terrorism is not just people who kill human bodies, but who kill human feelings as well. The makers of this film have terrorised 1.6 billion people... Organisations like Google are key players and have to take responsibility for civility. You can't just say it doesn't matter that it's freedom of speech. It's anarchy.” Sheikh Siddiqu didn't make a point of inclusion and argued that what they are protesting isn't limited to the concerns of Islam that are raised in the video. He said: “We want everyone in society to recognise these people are wrecking our fragile global society. We want the Church, the Synod, Jewish groups and establishment figures involved.”
Khalid Mahmood from Coventry, agreed with Sheikh Siddiqui, saying: “This is for all people, from all faiths. We live in an age of mockery. It is essentially out of control...The Christian faith is eroded. When we have visited churches, the congregations are mostly over 60 and are not interested in standing up to protest... It’s always the Muslims, but unfortunately we’re having to come out. For too long the Christian community have had to accept it.... We can no longer just stand by, shrug our shoulders and be hurt every day. We are doing this on behalf of everyone. It is the final straw. It is unacceptable.”
A spokesperson for YouTube gave a statement that recognized the concerns of both sides of this debate: “We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions... This can be a challenge because what's OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere... This video--which is widely available on the Web--is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube." While some may consider it a little OTT for the blasphemous the video to be considered 'terrorism', it certainly does raise very important questions about the limits and trappings of what we like to consider 'freedom of speech'. The protests are entirely none-violent and more protests are expected at the various YouTube and Google headquarters around the world over the coming weeks.