Muslims appeal to Government to help stop 'blasphemy' in wake of film row (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Muslims appeal to Government to help stop 'blasphemy' in wake of film row
Muslim faith leaders in Bradford angered by a film insulting their Prophet Muhammed are to lobby the Government for a new law to protect all religions from blasphemy.
About 80 senior Muslim leaders and representatives from the city’s mosques turned out to an emergency meeting called last night by the Council For Mosques.
Council for Mosques chief executive Mohammed Saleem Khan said the meeting at the Khidmat Centre in Lidget Green was the result of “all the hurt” and strength of feeling shown by the Muslim community since the 14-minute video made by the Coptic Church in America was made public.
After it was screened on YouTube thousands of people protested against it across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. The video is still on-line despite the White House asking YouTube to consider whether the film breaches its own guidelines.
Those against the video say it ridicules and abuses Islam depicting it as a religion of violence and hate and that it attacks the Prophet of Islam.
Mr Saleem Khan: “The response was so emotional, so big that we had to call the meeting. We need to show the strength of feeling and how hurt we are by this. One of the outcomes of the meeting was that there needs to be a protest of some kind and also that we must set up a steering group, a kind of working party, to write to the Government, to the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and to the Minister of Communities and call for some kind of law that will protect the basic human right all religions have to be respected. For many people their faith is their life.
“We will also be writing to Bishops to the Sikh and Hindu faiths and to others asking them to join us in a joint call for this protection from blasphemey. We must work together on this.”
Before the meeting, the Council for Mosque’s President Hafiz Mohammed Mushtaq said: “There is a growth of anger among the rank and file of the British community that these types of unprovoked attacks on the Islamic faith have become only too regular. There seems to be a concerted effort in the West to ridicule and abuse Islam and its followers. This is a worrying trend.”