Sydney Muslims gather for peaceful ‘Je suis Muslim’ rally

January 24, 2015 11:12 am

Hundreds of Muslims rallied in Sydney on Friday night to protest negative media coverage of Islam and the French magazine ’s depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.
Police said 14 people were moved on from the rally for breaching the peace. But no one was charged and the event was peaceful.

 Sydney Muslims gather at a rally to show their support for the Prophet
Muhammad in the Sydney suburb of Lakemba. Photo / Getty Images / Daniel
Munoz

Some
of the 800-strong demonstrators in the Muslim enclave of Lakemba held
placards with the slogan “Je suis Muslim,” French for “I am Muslim.”
The slogan was a response to Charlie Hebdo’s
latest front cover that depicts a tearful Prophet Muhammad holding a
sign saying “Je suis Charlie.” The edition is the first since the
terrorist attack on the satirical publication’s Paris office that left
12 dead.
Organisers of the “Our Prophet, Our Honor” rally said it
was intended to be “a peaceful and respectful event” to counter
negative media coverage of Islam and Charlie Hebdo’s lampooning of their Prophet.

Muslim leader Sufyan Badar told the crowd that demonstrations
in support of Charlie Hebdo used freedom of speech as a smoke screen for
underlying issues.
“In reality, free speech is one of the many political tools that are used to maintain dominance over the Muslims,” Badar said.
Australian
Prime Minister Tony Abbott had earlier used a Sydney radio interview to
warn against the rally being used to incite terrorism.

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