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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 February 2006, 18:33 GMT
Muslims march in cartoons protest
Trafalgar Square
The third week of protests passed peacefully
Muslims have held their biggest rally so far in the UK in protest at cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

Police said 10,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square before marching to Hyde Park. No arrests were made.

The London march was led by the Muslim Action Committee - an umbrella body for mosques and community groups.

It is the third consecutive weekend of demonstrations over the cartoons, which have prompted violent protests around the world since publication in Denmark.

The committee also launched a charter supporting a ban on religious discrimination after the march.

Organisers said there were 400 stewards to control the demonstration.

Unless and until we carry the public opinion with us on whatever we stand for we are not going to achieve anything
Dr Guyasuddin Siddiqui

Ishmaeel Haneef, from the committee, said the demonstrations were continuing because "the provocations have not stopped".

"These things are still being republished across the world," he said, using the example of an Italian minister wearing a T-shirt depicting the cartoons.

He said the way to "get back to being a civilised world" was to "give the copyright [of the cartoons] over to the Muslim community".

Protests against the cartoons, first printed in Denmark, have taken place in Muslim countries across the world.

But the protests have not been universally supported by Muslim leaders in the UK.

Dr Guyasuddin Siddiqui, of lobby group the Muslim Parliament of Britain, said unless Muslims "carry the public opinion with us on whatever we stand for we are not going to achieve anything".

Muslims in Trafalgar Square
The aim was to highlight mainstream Muslim opinion
Outbreaks of violence across Pakistan have prompted Denmark to temporarily close its embassy in Islamabad.

Last week protesters waved banners calling for unity against Islamophobia in a peaceful demonstration.

The Muslim Council of Britain along with the Muslim Association of Britain and a number of Christian groups, peace organisations and the Mayor of London helped organise that protest.

The event was intended to highlight the opinions of moderate Muslims after demonstrators earlier this month carried placards threatening violence through the capital.

Among the images which have sparked outcry is one of Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban on his head.

Newspapers in Spain, Italy, Germany and France reprinted the material.

See protesters demonstrate in Trafalgar Square


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