Protesters rally against anti-Muslim film in Toronto
Protesters are shown demonstrating against an anti-Muslim film outside the U.S. embassy in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.
Published Saturday, September 22, 2012 6:27PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 22, 2012 9:50PM EDT
Demonstrators gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Toronto on Saturday to protest an anti-Islam film that denounces the Prophet Muhammad.
An estimated 1,500 people surrounded the embassy on University Avenue to call on the U.S. government to prosecute the filmmaker, allegedly a Christian Egyptian based out of Los Angeles.
One man at the protest told CP24 that hate speech against Islam or any other religion should not be tolerated.
“Free speech does not give you a right to go and attack someone’s faith,” said a man who only gave his first name, Mohammed. “If anybody is attacking the Jewish faith or the Christian faith, Muslims would be hand in hand with them to denounce it. The same thing applies to the Islamic faith.”
Director of Toronto’s Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought Zafar Bangash said the government has not done enough to stop the spread of the film.
“What it has done is disrupted the social peace and it has created a lot of turmoil in the Muslim world as well as it has angered Muslims wherever they may be,” he told CTV Toronto.
The peaceful demonstration began Saturday afternoon. A number of Toronto police officers closely monitored the area in and around the consulate as protesters chanted, “Shame, shame U.S.A.”
One woman said she’d like to see the film blocked online.
“We are disappointed in this movie and we are asking Google and YouTube to stop this movie,” she said.
Protests against the film “Innocence of Muslims” have taken place worldwide. Some of the protests have turned violent with demonstrators and police being injured or killed in the clashes.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Janice Golding