Hundreds march in protest over Innocence of Islam film

First published in News

HUNDREDS of Muslims marched peacefully through Bolton to protest against a film which has caused outrage around the world.

About 300 people walked from Bobby Heywood Park in High Street, Great Lever, to Victoria Square in Bolton town centre.

Organisers made speeches in the town centre about the 14-minute Innocence Of Islam film which is available on video sharing website YouTube.

The protest was organised by Bolton Muslim Action Group and Naqshbandia Aslamiya Foundation Bolton, which handed a 5,000-signature petition to Bolton Council.

They say the film vilifies and insults Islam and that it was intentionally made to cause grief and anger amongst Muslims.

The petition calls for Bolton Council and MPs to speak on their behalf to the government to ban the film.

They say they believe in freedom of speech but not in the freedom to insult.

During the walk they chanted about their beliefs and carried placards and flags.

About 20 police officers accompanied the march to make sure there were no problems and reassured shoppers and workers in the town centre.

Imam Arshad Misbahi, of Manchester Central Mosque, spoke at the protest.

He said: “The film has been made against Islam, the message of Islam and the teaching of Islam.

“We are Muslim lawabiding citizens. We are here to protest peacefully.

I love my prophet more than I love my parents, my children, and myself.

“Any attack on Muslims is an attack on 1.5 billion Muslims in the world.”

Hamad Ali, aged 29, from Bolton, who was on the walk, said: “They have made a film against Islam.

It is totally wrong what they have done.

“It is insulting our religion and we hope that this protest will help get the film banned.”

Riaz Ahmed, aged 43, from Great Lever, said: “I feel very strongly about the film. We want it taken down.”

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, who received the petition, said: “It was a well organised protest and people have the right to protest.

“We will discuss the petition at a meeting and see what we can do.”

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