Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir supporters protest at US Embassy in LondonNews London, United Kingdom - 16 September 2012
Our contributor writes:
Hizb ut-Tahrir protest at the US Embassy in London on September 16, 2012, as rage about the controversial film "Innocence of Muslims" continues.
As the Guardian explains, "approximately 1,000 people shouted slogans outside the US embassy in central London in a protest inspired by the furor over a US-made anti-Islam film.
A few hundred people, many of them associated with the hardline Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation, which seeks a unified Islamist caliphate in the Arab world, assembled in Grosvenor Square on Sunday before the scheduled 2.30pm start time. The numbers soon swelled, and police moved crowd barriers to pen in the larger crowd.
Though targeted ostensibly at the film, Innocence of Muslims, which denigrates Islam and the prophet Muhammad and which sparked deadly riots around the Middle East, the placards held by many protesters were aimed at the US, saying, "America – get out of Muslim lands".
Watched by a relatively low-key police presence, the gathering – the majority of whom were men at the front of the crowd, but with a number of women and children at the rear – listened to speakers condemning the film, US foreign policy and "oppression" of Muslims and Islam.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, which organised the protest, is a controversial group with branches in dozens of countries. The Conservatives went into the last general election pledging to ban it in the UK, a vow yet to be realised.
Last year the government's counter-terrorism watchdog, David Anderson QC, said in a report to parliament he could see no reason for Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has radical aims but espouses non-violent methods, to be outlawed."