It’s probably a little tricky to raise a protest march consisting of 10,000 Muslims outside the Googleplex in Mountain View, Santa Clara. But in the centre of London, it happens to be a cinch. Especially when they can simply bus and train in from other parts of the UK. So it’s with no doubt just a little trepidation that Google UK – and its offices across Europe – faces ongoing mass protests from Muslims protesting about trailers for the anti-Islamic film ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ which appeared on YouTube recently and lead to worldwide protests and has been implicated – directly or indirectly – in the death of a US ambassador. Google refuses to remove the videos. And so the protests look set to continue for many weeks to come. Eventually a million-strong march in Hyde Park is planned. So while YouTube HQ will be sunning itself in balmy Silicon Valley climes, it’s likely that we will see a wave of continuing protests in Europe, and outside Google’s beleaguered offices.
Yesterday’s demonstration was the third organised in a month, but probably the biggest to date, with thousands travelling from hundreds of miles away, including Scotland. Imams in mosques across Britain helped to organise the protest, which lasted four hours and blocked roads almost up to Buckingham Palace.
According to protesters the film in question – which has not been released, though incredibly amateurish trailers were – insults the Prophet Mohammad and demeans Muslims, and remains available on YouTube.
A Google spokesperson told us: “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.”
Quoted by the Telegraph, protest organiser Masoud Alam said: “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.” Mr Alam plans “a million strong” protest “in the next few weeks”.
Here’s a video from the protest that has been uploaded… to YouTube: