Thousands Protest Anti-Islam Film At London’s Google Headquarters

Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the London headquarters of Google on Monday to protest an anti-Islam film whose trailer was released on YouTube in July.

The film, Innocence of Muslims, has sparked protests across the world over how it portrays the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer and a fool, reports the BBC.

The demonstration, which included almost 3,500 people, caused Buckingham Palace Road in Victoria to close for three hours. The protesters called for Google, who owns YouTube, to take down the trailer for the US-made anti-Islam film.

Google has already responded to requests to take the trailer down, saying that the video is “clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube.”

The trailer for Innocence of Muslims has already sparked protests in India, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, and Australia. The demonstration on Monday is the first that directly targets Google, instead of US Embassies. The Daily Mail notes that a YouTube spokesman stated:

“We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions. This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere.”

The protest at Google’s headquarters in London has been billed as a precursor to a million-strong march that is planned in Hyde Park in the next few weeks. The protest’s organizer, Masoud Alam, stated:

“Our next protest will be at the offices of Google and YouTube across the world. We are looking to ban this film. This is not freedom of expression, there is a limit for that. This insult of the Prophet will not be allowed.”

No arrests were made during the protest in front of Google headquarters in London — a stark contrast to the violent protests that spread across the Muslim world more than a month ago.