Muslims protest outside Google offices over anti-Islam YouTube clip

Protestors spent four hours outside the internet giant’s headquarters calling for it to take down from YouTube the clip known as Innocence of Muslims, which is said to insult the Prophet Mohammed as a fool and a womaniser.

The Muslim Action Forum said up to 10,000 people, including 800 imams from mosques across Britain, joined the demo, which closed off one side of a busy road through Victoria on Sunday afternoon, but police put the number at about 3,000.

Organisers said they will hold a “million strong” rally in Hyde Park within weeks unless the film they say is offensive is taken off the internet.

One of those behind the protest contrasted their attitude with that of British Christians, who he claimed were too willing to put up with faith being demeaned.

Khalid Mahmood, a 38-year-old insurance broken from Coventry, said: “This is for all people, from all faiths. We live in an age of mockery. It is essentially out of control.

“The Christian faith is eroded. When we have visited churches, the congregations are mostly over 60 and are not interested in standing up to protest.

“It’s always the Muslims, but unfortunately we’re having to come out. For too long the Christian community have had to accept it.

“We can no longer just stand by, shrug our shoulders and be hurt every day. We are doing this on behalf of everyone. It is the final straw. It is unacceptable.”

Masoud Alam added: “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.”

Sunday’s demonstration was the largest so far in Britain against Innocence of Muslims, a 14-minute trailer for an American film that was put online over the summer, sparking violent protests in Egypt, Yemen, India and Tunisia.

Crowd barriers were set up outside the headquarters of Google, which owns the video-sharing service YouTube, and protestors gathered bearing placards to chant slogans and listen to speeches by more than a dozen imams.

The speakers urged Muslims to honour the name of the Prophet and not to back down in the face of Google's continuing refusal to remove the video, and were met with passionate cries of "God is Great" and "Mohammad is the Prophet of God" in Arabic.

One of the speakers, Sheikh Faiz Al-Aqtab Siddiqui, said: "Terrorism is not just people who kill human bodies, but who kill human feelings as well. The makers of this film have terrorised 1.6 billion people.

"Organisations like Google are key players and have to take responsibility for civility. You can't just say it doesn't matter that it's freedom of speech. It's anarchy."

Sheikh Siddiqui, a lawyer from Nuneaton, said he wanted to form a coalition with the Church of England, Catholics, Jewish groups, Trade Unions and even Conservatives to encourage their ranks to join his "campaign for civility".

"We want everyone in society to recognise these people are wrecking our fragile global society. We want the Church, the Synod, Jewish groups and establishment figures involved," he said.

A spokesman for YouTube said: “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.

“This video--which is widely available on the Web--is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube."

The Metropolitan Police said there were no arrests at the protest.