Violent protests have erupted in the Middle East over the offensive anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims in recent days, but demonstrations are no longer isolated to that region. Recent reports show that Muslim protests have been organized elsewhere, most notably in Sydney, Australia.
“Behead all those that insult the prophet,” read several signs held by men and even children at the Sydney protest. The demonstration at Hyde Park drew a massive crowd of Muslims who answered an alleged call by the Muslim Brotherhood to organize in such a capacity, ready to riot, and even incite further violence. According to ABC, a simple text message prompted the worldwide surge in demonstrations. It read: “We must defend the honour of our prophet, we must act now.”
According to the police superintendent, the protestors “came forearmed to cause damage.” Of 150 summoned officers, six were injured by the protestors. Eight protestors were arrested, and the mob eventually dispersed.
Once again, social media has played a key role in the international reporting of the events as they transpired. Twitter in particular was crucial to coverage of the Sydney Muslim protest, as hundreds of Australians expressed their disgust over the demonstration. Primarily responding to signs carried by men and children calling for the decapitation of those who “insult the prophet,” Aussies tweeted their reactions to the demonstration in real time.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the riot as well: “The crowd carried signs saying ‘Behead all those who insult the prophet.’ Paramedics attended to several protesters suffering from the effects of tear gas.”
The protest in Sydney seems to have been rejected by many in the country, and for good reason. One spokesman for the protest said “We are here to rally in protest about what they have said about the Prophet Mohammed,” continuing, “We say that America should not play the role of supporting this movie,” which really only proves that disinformation is a global epidemic. Even a quick Google search would show that in no way has the US supported the offensive film, and that we’re even investigating its production.
I can tell you what else we don’t support: Violence and threats of violence against our own citizens.
More Twitter-specific coverage of the Muslim protest in Australia can be found at Twitchy. What do you think? Are these demonstrations pushing it?