'Je suis Muslim': Hundreds rally in Australia over portrayal of Islam and Prophet Mohamed

Protesters prayed on the streets while police watched over

Lamiat Sabin
Saturday 24 January 2015 13:29 GMT

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Hundreds of Muslims rallied in Sydney yesterday night to protest against negative media coverage of Islam and French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of Prophet Mohamed.

Police said 14 people were told to move on from the rally for breaching the peace. But no one was charged and the event was calm with a huge group of demonstrators praying on the street.

Some of the 800-strong demonstrators in the Lakemba suburb – which has a large population of Lebanese Australians – held up placards with the slogan “Je suis Muslim” (French for “I am Muslim”).

Other protesters held up signs saying 'insult to one prophet is an insult to all prophets' and 'mercy to mankind'.

The slogan was a response to the latest front cover of Charlie Hebdo that depicts a tearful Prophet Mohamed holding a sign saying “Je suis Charlie,” a sentiment expressed around the world in commemoration of 12 people who were shot dead by masked gunmen at the magazine’s offices.

Muslims protesting against Charlie Hebdo in Grozny, Chechnya
Muslims protesting against Charlie Hebdo in Grozny, Chechnya (AP)

Similar demonstrations have been taking place around the world with one in the Philippines that drew around 1,500 Muslims who burned a mock-up of a Charlie Hebdo cover featuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to protest against “Zionist double standards” of the magazine.

The latest edition is the first since the attack on January 7 – in which the perpetrators claimed they were avenging Prophet Mohamed – which was followed by deaths of another five people including four hostages at HyperCacher kosher supermarket in Paris by another gunman in an incident believed to be linked.

A magazine cover in 2011 consisted of a drawing of Prophet Mohamed, which said “100 lashes of the whip if you don’t die laughing!” under a banner saying “Charia Hebdo” in reference to Sharia law. Soon afterwards, the magazine’s offices were burned in a firebomb attack.

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