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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 February 2006, 16:18 GMT
Mayor supporting pro-Islam rally
London mayor Ken Livingstone
The mayor ctiticised media coverage of the cartoon protests
An anti-Islamophobia rally which will explain the views of moderate Muslims has been backed by London's mayor.

Saturday's event in Trafalgar Square comes after the publication of Danish cartoons which caused offence and protests by Muslims worldwide.

Ken Livingstone said: "Unlike some of the BBC's coverage, it will allow the views of the mainstream Muslim community to be properly heard."

The BBC said it had reflected a wide range of views on the issue.

The rally, 'United against Incitement and Islamophobia', has been organised by the Muslim Council of Britain, the Muslim Association of Britain and a number of Christian organisations.

Too many media outlets have given excessive weight to the fringes of this argument including giving a platform to racists
London mayor Ken Livingstone

They say it is designed to explain the views of the mainstream Muslim community in condemning the publication of the Islamophobic cartoons.

Organisers also say it aims to dissociate the mainstream Muslim community from a minority of extremists who have been given media coverage out of all proportion to their numbers.

Protests held in London last week sparked outrage when demonstrators carried placards with messages which some said amounted to "incitement to murder".

Mr Livingstone said: "Too many media outlets have given excessive weight to the fringes of this argument including giving a platform to racists."

In response to Mr Livingstone's criticism, a spokesman for BBC News said: "BBC News has reflected across its output a wide range of the views amongst the Muslim community on the cartoons satirisng Muhammad.

"On television, radio and online, BBC News has given its audiences the opportunity to hear and voice their own opinions."




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