Thousands of people are expected to stage a peaceful protest in Bradford on Friday against a US-made film they claim attacks Islam.

Talks are ongoing with police and Bradford Council about the mass gathering, which is scheduled to start at 3.30pm in Centenary Square.

The Council For Mosques has stressed that Imams at all of Bradford’s 86 mosques will be putting out a “strong message” during Friday’s prayers that there must be no trouble.

Zulfi Karim, its General Secretary, said it was difficult to predict precise numbers, but he expected “at least a couple of thousand” to turn out. Mr Karim said: “During the protest we will be letting the American ambassador know of the feeling of Muslims around the world and here in Bradford and to show that we are one voice.

“A lot of people out there are very unhappy and feel we need to come together to talk and protest about this film that insults our faith.

“We will also be calling for the lobbying of government and embassies to support us in our demand for respect for our faith.” Mr Karim said the idea of the protest had been put to the vote at an emergency meeting called on Monday night by the Council For Mosques.

“It was the community’s call,” he said.

The film, made by the Coptic Church in America, which has a 14-minute trailer still on You Tube, has already triggered a wave of protest, some violent, across Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and other countries around the world.

A Bradford police spokesman said last night: “We are liaising with organisers regarding the planned demonstration in the city and will be providing a visible policing presence.”

A spokesman for Bradford Council, which is responsible for Centenary Square, confirmed that the Council for Mosques had approached the authority about its intention to hold the protest and said discussions were continuing.