Muslim protestors demonstrating against The Innocence of Muslims barricade Google's London office.
While in the Middle East, Muslim protestors have taken to smashing shop windows and attacking US embassies in order to demonstrate their displeasure at the release of terrible comedy, The Innocence of Muslims, those in the UK have chosen a marginally more sensible target. On Sunday, a large crowd of Muslims barricaded Google's London office in a bid to pressure the company into removing The Innocence trailer from YouTube. The protest was entirely peaceful.
The size of the protest isn't clear; The BBC puts it at "up to 3500," while the Daily Telegraph reckons there were as many as 10,000 people at the event. The protest was organized by The Muslim Action Forum, a group created in response to the film.
"Unreservedly condemns the preposterous film vilifying Islam and desecrating the sanctity of the Holy Prophet Mohammad peace be upon Him" reads the group's manifesto, which also "Calls for all civilized fellow human beings to join in the 'Campaign for Global Civility.'"
YouTube has declined to remove the video, arguing that it doesn't break any of the service's rules. The MAF intends to organize other actions until the video is removed. Targeting Google is a clever move: If anything will force the West to abandon freedom of expression, it's the threat of having to use Bing.
The best part of this whole affair is that no one protesting the release of The innocence of Muslims has actually seen it. Despite the common belief among protestors that the film is a state-funded Hollywood blockbuster, the anti-Islamic comedy has been screened only once, to an audience of ten people.
Thus far the response to the film - which unfortunately goes way beyond the peaceful protests organized by MAF - has claimed the lives of at least four people, including US ambassador, John Christopher Stevens, and foreign service information management officer and EVE Online player, Sean "Vile Rat" Smith.
On a similar note: In Greece, far-right political group, Golden Dawn, has responded to performances of Corpus Christi, a play which casts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals, by physically assaulting theater-goers and journalists while the police look on.
"In any case where the religious sentiment of Greeks is insulted, the Golden Dawn will react dynamically," explained Golden Dawn MP, Ilias Kasidiaris, known mostly for punching a fellow politician on live television. "If someone tries to stage a play making fun of Muhammad in a Muslim country, he will lose his head. They won't react peacefully as Greeks do."
Source: The Register