Muslim communities have mobilised across Europe holding mass demonstrations in protest against the publication of controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
The rallies appear to have been peaceful, in London’s Trafalgar Square an estimated 4000 people gathered.Organisers say the aim was to allow British Muslims to show their concern over what they see as growing Islamophobia but also to call for calm. Previously, Muslim anger over the cartoons has sparked some violent protests, but in Dusseldorf and in other German cities marches were peaceful. There are over three million Muslims in the country – for many the pictures are concrete proof of Europe’s hostility to Islam. And in France, the Muslim Council has urged the nation’s five million believers to stay calm. At a rally in Strasbourg an Islamist leader warned that the cartoons now reproduced in much of the western press, had woken up the Muslim world. “You will unite all Muslims be they salafists, integrationists, Islamists or terrorists,” he said. The French President has condemned the publication of the pictures as overt provocation.