• Germany's news in English

German Muslims stage peaceful protest

The Local · 22 Sep 2012, 08:56

Published: 22 Sep 2012 08:56 GMT+02:00

Around 800 demonstrators marched through the centre of the southwestern German city of Freiburg under the banner "I Love My Prophet".

Protesters hoisted signs reading "Yes to freedom of expression, no to insults" and "I am protesting against the lack of respect toward my beloved Prophet Mohammed".

Freiburg was the first German city to approve such a march but imposed strict conditions including a ban on participants using outlawed slogans, carrying potentially dangerous objects or covering their faces.

Another 500 people gathered in the western city of Münster, police said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert had earlier called for the protests to remain peaceful, saying violence was never justified in religious disputes, whether in Germany or abroad.

"That should be our watchword, everywhere," he told a regular government news conference.

Further protests were expected Saturday in the cities of Karlsruhe and Dortmund. Police said they expected them to remain peaceful.

Fresh demonstrations erupted across the Muslim world Friday against the US-made film and French caricatures of the prophet Mohammed.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:44 September 22, 2012 by crm114
respect is earned not demanded.
10:58 September 22, 2012 by zeddriver
And that my friends is how it's done. State your opinion, Show your solidarity with your friends, Engage in friendly conversation with others that don't have your view. Then go home.
12:30 September 22, 2012 by The-ex-pat
10:44 September 22, 2012 by crm114 respect is earned not demanded.

Respect is a right in Germany. On a whole a one way street that gos up and not down........................................
12:33 September 22, 2012 by twisted
zeddriver has it right. There is no need to burn down buildings and cars, break windows or loot stores to make your point. And I agree, there is no need for insults to any religion.
12:42 September 22, 2012 by Zubair Khan
Respect for heavenly entities is expected by all. Muhammad (pbuh) is a prophet for a big religion of the world and has over billion followers. As such demands respect because He commands respect in the hearts of Muslims. Few nasty non Muslim elements are all over remain busy just to promote their wrongly perceived ideologies and keep on instigating the sentiments of Muslims. On the other hand Muslims very easily become prey to such tactics. According to one ideology Islam has a latent potential where sentiments of its followers can be aroused and channelized easily to achieve any right or wrong goal. Taking advantage of this characteristic of Muslims some so called Muslim opportunists also utilize Islam for their hidden motives. For the occasion such as film on Innocence of Muslims, correct path was to reply back by highlighting the noble traits of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Instead few so called Muslim leaders instigated the innocent Muslims and brought them on streets to commit atrocities against other innocent people. Main fault lies with those Muslim religious cleric who interpreted the Islamic reaction to this film in wrong way and brought the innocent Muslim on streets to act violently. This is not the real teachings of Islam and should be condemned very loudly. There are sensible, rational and logical ways to express the feelings. For example International Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always reacted very sensibly and logically on all such occasions and other Muslim groups can learn lesson fro this community.
13:05 September 22, 2012 by blogboy
Finally people who protest in a peaceful manner, I hope that this protest is not against all Americans but against those who produced this film. I do agree that no one should insult other people¦#39;s beliefs but on the other hand do not forget that freedom of expression is a very important part of any democracy. As long as no one is killing anybody or destroying property I have no problem with it.

As misguided as these producers of this film are, it is still their right to express themselves no matter what the consequences. Freedom of speech and expression should never be watered down and sometimes this right is tested and this is one of those times. What matters now is that we must stand up for our values and never apologize for them. I hold these rights dear to my heart. I know some of you will answer this and say that there is a line where insults begin and freedom of speech ends,without freedom of speech and expression there is no checks and balances for your government.
13:32 September 22, 2012 by alex533
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:37 September 22, 2012 by Dicken-Mohmed
I hope this particular protest is peaceful unlike the Kurdish roits in Mannheim. I would still be cautious about these demonstrations by them.
14:54 September 22, 2012 by Herr Rentz
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:09 September 22, 2012 by Eastard
@Zubair Khan...

What...? You comment as though anyone who does not believe in your prophet is wrong... Well most of the world does not believe as Islam so this is a real good time to begin the transition towards getting over the non-believers comments... The world is not an Islamic Island and tolerance is expected. I see pictures of Muslims burning flags and dragging bodies on the streets... I don't expect this is being done out of respect for others beliefs.. A non-violent demonstration is fine... How about getting more than 800 of the 1,000,000,000 Muslims to go along with this... I don't think the world as a whole really cares why people are murdered and flags burned... and certainly do not consider it justified... They only care that it occurs and creates even more disrespect for Islam...

It may be time to quit watching western TV and reading western news if this is found to be offensive... a little like stepping out of the way of an approaching truck. Freedom of expression will survive terrorism and disorganized religious behavior.

I suggest movies should consider having a religious rating to warn viewers of content considered offensive... and then simply don't look at it... Cartoons and magazines should have the same consideration... as they would if it were adult content...

I have read from many viewers about earning respect... and 100% agree that this is needed... I can assure you that killing nuns and burning flags will not help this ever... At some point Muslims need to police their own...
15:34 September 22, 2012 by raandy
Zubair Khan

I think you are mostly correct, in your assumption that Muslims are generally more pious than other major beliefs. They are also more susceptible to rage, when their faith is ridiculed.

I also think that certain factions like Al Qaeda use this to incite the masses to violence.(as you indicated)

The result of this hysteria is negative for the Nation of Islam it does not result in more tolerance but less.

The people from many Muslim majority countries would prefer an Islamic State over a democratic state.

To receive respect and tolerance you must give respect and tolerance.

Do you believe as a practicing Muslim that this will happen?
15:50 September 22, 2012 by smart2012
I did not want to comment on this however I have to as I see too many people giving populistic comments without any education on this matter. I do not know much about religions, I just know that catholic church bans books/movies if not in line with their view. So I do not understand why we westerns cannot ban a silly movie made by a porno director who was in prison in the past. A simple thing to show we care of others which actually in Germany are working to pay my retirement. But no, this would be too simple. Ww3 closer
16:03 September 22, 2012 by raandy
smart2012, in a perfect world my friend you could ban such trash, but it is not a perfect world. Anyone can upload a video to u tube ect, it may be removed but not before many have viewed it.True the Catholics ban such things ,many to not adhere to the ban, but no one burns and destroys and kills over it.

I am pleased to see that German Muslims staged a peaceful protest that in my opinion will garner them much more respect that those that were violent.

Unfortunately nothing is that simple anymore.
16:50 September 22, 2012 by Wrench
All religions preach tolerance for others, but seldom followed.
17:53 September 22, 2012 by crm114
@ #12 can you tell us which books and films have actually been banned by the catholic church?
18:14 September 22, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Ok. But if we ban all this talk about Muhammad and Islam, then we also need to ban all insults about my mother. I don;t like those;)

Qur 'an 33:60 "Truly, if the Hypocrites stir up sedition, if the agitators in the City do not desist, We shall urge you to go against them and set you over them. Then they will not be able to stay as your neighbors for any length of time. They shall have a curse on them. Whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain without mercy - a fierce slaughter - murdered, a horrible murdering."
18:29 September 22, 2012 by schneebeck
@smart2012 #12

" I see too many people giving populistic comments without any education on this matter"

I would like to know about your educational background that gives "superior" standing to your post.

What are your "education" credentials? Where did you obtain them?
18:59 September 22, 2012 by Patrick4141
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:26 September 22, 2012 by IchBinKönig

We've fought for our rights before. Best believe, we will fight for them again. The readership at theLoco.de does not have any use for free speech in regards to Islam. Only when it comes to 'other creeds' such as any religion except Islam, that disrespect is considered noble and free.
21:22 September 22, 2012 by Englishted
Don't moderate Muslims find it a slamming indictment of their beliefs when a small peaceful demo makes news just because it is peaceful .

At least there was good news of Libya where the moderates proved actions speak loader than words.

When will the moderates protest against the brutal murders of innocents instead of a stupid film and satirical cartoons ,then I will believe something has changed.
00:06 September 23, 2012 by smart2012
Books banned by church were in the "Index librorum prohibitorum" which was dismissed in 1966, and after that another commission was created by church to control things ie church has criticized books of Dan brown, not banned them but wrote books saying that everything is wrong in Dan brown's books (where actually Dan brown is not saying that Jesus is gay and silly)... second, I did not say I am superior than others, I meant that none of us commenting here has ever red the full bible and full coran, that is why i say we are poorly educated on this matter.

Peace my friends, and love ;)
10:20 September 23, 2012 by zeddriver

A church banning books or anything else for that matter. Does not carry the weight of law for ALL. It just says that members of THAT church are banned from doing or looking at that banned item. The Catholic church also bans premarital sex, Birth control, Abortions. Yet those things are not Illegal in Germany nor in America.

This is the first amendment of the American constitution. And it is the reason that idiot was allowed to make such a film. or that the "artist" that made "piss Christ" was not arrested. But this same amendment also allows the citizen to openly criticize their own government with out fear of being thrown into prison. That is why we say freedom is not free. It's requires us to accept the bad along with the good. We just have to "man up" and be mature about the bad things people say.

Text of the amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
11:24 September 23, 2012 by wethepeople2012
Islam is a peaceful and loving religion. Just read below.

"Pakistani Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour says he'd give $100,000 to the person who kills the anti-Islam filmmaker."

You can read full article at this site,

11:47 September 23, 2012 by crm114
@smart2012 - I was going to append to my question about catholic banned books the caveat .... with the exception of Index librorum prohibitorum, thinking that nobody could be desperate enough to qualify their assertion that something they find offensive should be banned by quoting a renaissance document originating at a time when few people where literate and the ability to print and disseminate thought very limited, but no, SMART2012 has proved me wrong, sadly.
07:58 September 24, 2012 by stopislam
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:13 September 25, 2012 by Zubair Khan
@Eastard. I do not know how you reached to following conclusion.

"What...? You comment as though anyone who does not believe in your prophet is wrong... Well most of the world does not believe as Islam so this is a real good time to begin the transition towards getting over the non-believers comments... The world is not an Islamic Island and tolerance is expected"

Religious history reveals hundreds of prophets. Never it happened that whole human kind accepted single prophet as correct one. Even more that 1500 years passed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and 20% of the world could accept him. Never ever it has been said that who did not accept him is wrong. All have different perceptions and are answerable to Creator for their acts etc. There is no compulsion in religion and no one has any right to call any one wrong or right. The only point which I wanted to bring home is the respect for all the prophets. All starting from Abraham all were heavenly entities.Where ever dignity or self respect is hurt one is aught to react, may it be personal or religious affair. Relative to other faiths Muslims are very sensitive to the honour and respect of their Prophet. It is built in phenomenon of Islam. Making of derogatory film about any prophet and then promoting it through various means, to me, is totally wrong and illogical. As per my understanding of religion each logical mind should discourage such attempts. Freedom of expression also has limits and does not mean you annoy a large population of the world and whole peace on the planet is put in danger. Anger of Muslim Ummah on such attempt is very much justified however resort to any violence due to it is totally un-Islamic and shameful. No where in Quran or Hadith or Sunnah such violent acts have been suggested or taught. Who so ever is doing such act is bringing bad stigma on the face of religion Islam and very strongly be condemned.

Once again would like to quote example of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community which in Pakistan constitutionally declared out of ambit of Islam. Community members reside in a city called Rabwah with 99% Ahmadiyya population. Fanatic Mullahs of other Islamic factions very oft enter the city, use abusive and filthy language about founder of community. This is happening from last 38 years. Never ever any violent reaction or even unwanted behaviour shown by any member of the community in spite of being in exclusive majority. Here also disrespectful act of fanatic Mullahs is condemned very strongly but no violent act permitted as per real teachings of Islam. Ahmadiyya Community is presenting this living example since last 123 years. So to conclude once again I would summarize that, (1) any attempt to degrade the prophet of Islam (pbuh) or any other prophet is totally wrong and should be strongly condemned, (2) On the base of any such incident any violent reaction of Muslim is totally un Islamic and should be strongly condemned. Hope my view point now will understood more clearly.
23:10 September 25, 2012 by Onlythetruth
It is certainly your right to take offense at anything you think disrespects your prophet Zubair Khan but you have no right in the West to react violently to make your displeasure known. Muslims who do resort to violence should be expelled from the West until they learn to control themselves.
16:30 October 9, 2012 by Zubair Khan
@Onlythetruth. In all of my comments I have disowned violence on the name of religion and I give you full credit for it. What so ever the case may be there is no justification for violence on such issues. As for expulsion is oncerned keep in mind the West might not be able to sustain without the help of East so it is not the cure. Love for all hatred for none is the only answer,
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