|Screen shot from the RT (Russia Today) video of the riot in central Sydney today|
Islamic protests hit home
September 16, 2012
Police were forced to use capsicum spray, tear gas and the dog squad as they fought a five-hour running battle with at least 200 demonstrators who were protesting against an anti-Islamic fringe film that has enraged the Muslim community. The US-made Innocence of Muslims, which ridicules the prophet Muhammad, has been denounced by governments around the world since its release on the internet last week. The violent clash in Sydney, in which police were pelted with bottles, came as international tensions over the film escalated and spread to more than 20 countries... The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was reviewing security for Australian embassies overseas. Prime Minister Julia Gillard last night condemned the Sydney violence, saying: ''Violent protest is never acceptable, not today, not ever.''Click here to view the Sydney Morning Herald/Melbourne Age's embedded video footage. For more video:
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott agreed. ''People have a right to peaceful protest but the kind of violence we saw in Sydney today was completely, utterly, absolutely unacceptable.''
...The crowd carried signs with slogans such as "Behead all those who insult the prophet" and "Our dead are in paradise, your dead are in hell". Several speakers condemned the US and critics of Islam. Abdullah Sary said "the anger comes from the fact if you attack the prophet you are attacking our way of life". "This was a non-violent protest but people don't like seeing their brothers attacked by dogs and ending up in hospital. Our anger and emotion is purely for Allah and his message."
The Sydney protest went in waves of calm, from prayer to rants about Christians lacking morals, to frenzied chanting and clashes with police. NSW Police Superintendent Mark Walton said the crowd came forearmed with the apparent intention of causing damage and "potentially conflict with police".
Australians tend to take their politics fairly easily. The shocking violence of the so-called 'protestors', their violent anger over the alleged affront to their dignity, and their egregious disdain for Australia's police, laws and sense of live-and-let-live are likely to be remembered by their neighbours for some time to come.