Hundreds of Muslims gather in Teesside to protest at controversial video (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Hundreds of Muslims gather in Teesside to protest at controversial video
HUNDREDS of Muslims gathered today (Sunday, October 28) to demonstrate against an anti-Islamic video that has sparked outrage across the world.
The demonstration, at Stockton’s Muslim Welfare Trust, was held as a reaction to the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ video, which depicts a doctor teaching his young daughter that Muslims are terrorists.
The film's maker, Egyptian Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, has been in hiding since it was released on September 11.
The video, which went viral, led to protests and riots all over the world amid claims that it undermined and insulted the prophet Muhammad.
The demonstration in Stockton was organised in order to give Teesside’s Muslim community the chance to voice their concerns in a peaceful manner.
Mahroof Hussein, Treasurer of the Muslim Welfare Trust, said: “We wanted to make sure this was a peaceful demonstration.
"We decided not to take to the streets because we wanted to avoid any conflict and wanted to get our point across through a peaceful gathering and the lobbying of our MPs.
“We are demonstrating because our prophet Muhammad was insulted.
"Our community feels very strongly that no religious prophet should be insulted, whether it is Muhammad or Jesus.”
Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham and Hartlepool counterpart Iain (CORRECT) Wright joined Middlesbrough Councillor, Barry Coppinger, at the event and agreed to deliver a petition on behalf of the Muslim community to the Houses of Parliament.
Mr Cunningham told those gathered: “I am a Christian and I get upset about the way my religion and my faith is compromised by other people.
"I can understand the parallels with our faiths.
“There has been a terrible loss of life across the world because of this film and I am sure those here today would share our upset at that happening.
"My commitment to you is that we will take this to the House of Commons and will raise the matter in Parliament and address the upset and anger of the Muslim community.
"People doing this sort of thing need to realise that it is not right and that it is costing lives.”
Ambreen Hussain, 16, said: “When something is wrong, justice needs to happen. Protesting in a respectable manner is the best way to go about it. Voices need to be heard.”