9/11 anniversary: Muslim protesters burn US flag outside embassy in London

[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

A number of radical Islamic groups including Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) gathered outside the embassy on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

The group of around 100 men shouted "USA terrorists", brandished anti-American placards and chanted through a loudhailer.

Several members of the Muslim groups made anti-American speeches following the flag burning.

One said: "You will always face suffering, you will always face humiliation, unless you withdraw your troops from Muslim lands."

Another declared that America had been "defeated in Iraq and defeated in Afghanistan".

Members of the group publicly burned a poppy on Armistice Day in a similar stunt.

However, a small opposing group of Muslims - some of whom had travelled hundreds of miles to rebut the extremists - staged a counter-demonstration nearby, holding up placards reading "Muslims Against Extremism" and "If You Want Sharia, Move To Saudi".

Abdul Sallam, 41, who was waving a sign that read "Keep The Silence", travelled down to London from his home in Glasgow to show the strength of his feelings.

He said: "I'm a Muslim. What they're doing is bringing shame on all Muslims. This is not part of the teachings of Islam.

"Islam teaches you that when you see anything bad or evil, you should speak out against it.

"If the moderate Muslims all came out and spoke out, that would defeat them.

"I am proud to be British. I love my country. All these people are doing is breaking Britain apart."

One of the Grosvenor Square memorial service attendees, who did not want to be named, said the protesters should be stopped from standing just across the road from the embassy and using a loud megaphone.

The man, whose cousin died in the terror attacks, said: "They shouldn't be allowed to do it. It's very disrespectful. It's too loud."

He added: "They can say what they want but not with the loudspeaker."

Earlier a group of right-wing English Defence League protesters, who had gathered in response to the demonstration, were ordered to move on to accommodate the MAC supporters.

The 60-strong group of EDL supporters briefly scuffled with police as they were forced away from their original location to a different part of Grosvenor Square.



JL - posted on 09/12/2011




"... I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country." Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

There is a fine line that we have to always consider with Freedom of Speech concerning whether the speech is a legitimate form of expression or if it's a threat to public safety. In 1919 Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. created the "clear and present danger test." The test set up the idea that the government has the right to curtail and limit any speech that the government can demonstrate that such speech represents a clear and present danger to public safety. Holmes in his opinion used the analogy of shouting Fire in a crowded theater.

The "clear and present danger test" has been the litmus test for protected speech and dangerous speech in the US. It does not cover slanderous or obscene speech because that is such a difficult area to discern because of morality and value differences. What one person may find obscene another may consider art but that is besides the point. The point is that tolerance of speech and the right to speech including speech we loath is one of freedoms Americans cherish.

One of things I have always found interesting with extremist groups is that often the purpose of using venomous speech and outlandish offensive acts of expression is to create a counter reaction that is violent or oppressive. Take the Westboro Baptist as an example.... police officers, FBI officials, and military intelligence agents that follow and keep an eye on them confirm that one of the main objectives of the group is to upset people enough that a violent reaction occurs in which they are physically harmed. In that case they could sue the government for not protecting them. Another goal is to push the government toward oppressing their speech which in case would allow them to sue the government. See the ultimate goal is for a successful court case against the US government where they win financial means from them. Remember those who lead that group are lawyers who are actually highly intelligent when it comes to the law. The places where the group has received the most angry reactions are the places they continually go back to in hopes of stirring up violence. It is the places in which they have been counter reacted against in peaceful means. In one instance they came to town met with choirs and peace groups. It is those places that the group no longer goes back to.

Anyways, in the US we do have a line set up by SCOTUS that entails that once speech crosses a line where it is inciting violence and creating danger to the public that speech is no longer protected under the First Amendment.

Amie - posted on 09/12/2011




Like Aus and the UK, Canada does not have freedom of speech. We have freedom of expression and hate laws.

So while we can speak and express ourselves freely, we can not incite hatred.

I agree with Loureen and Emma. Some people really should be muzzled and held accountable for their words.

[deleted account]

They should have arrested the lot of them and shipped them all out to afghanistan so they can fight for what they believe in bunch of idiots.

Kellie - posted on 09/12/2011




How would that work though? They were burning the American Flag on British soil so technically they would not be breaking British Law or committing treason against Britain.

Either way it's disgusting behaviour.

Karla - posted on 09/11/2011




I agree with the loud speaker being too much. Let them protest, they create their own negative world, but they don't need to be allowed a bull-horn for the event, that's too much.
In my opinion it's very sad that on the anniversary of the terrorist attack that killed thousands of innocent people that we cannot manage to have a day in memory without interruption - protest tomorrow, but let the mourners have today.


View replies by

Tracey - posted on 09/14/2011




Gillian, why would protesters be shot when they presented no threat to another person?

Charlie - posted on 09/12/2011




Words are powerful , as powerful or more so than actions.

To me freedom of speech is about as dangerous as freedom of actions , we can live freely to a point where if our actions are dangerous or lethal we must be punished ...we cannot kill , steal , rape ect ...for the average person this doesnt affect them because they wont break the law.
It works much the same with freedom of expression ...basically it is the same as laws against actions , we can say pretty much anything we want hate speech laws , bullying laws ect do not affect the average person ....they dont even affect the highly opinionated person but when speech gets to a point where it becomes dangerous it is not ok.

I think opinion and inciting hatred and violence using speech are two completely different things.

Rosie - posted on 09/12/2011




being raised in america i immediately go to my country's meaning of freedom of speech and think they should be able to say what they want. it's their opinion. they're wrong...but it's their opinion.
i like the idea of other country's freedom of speech, i would just have to see it up close to see how it worked before i would be all for it. i'm concerned about how it would work, and what you could say or not say. it seems kinda slippery from over here, not having firsthand knowledge of how it works.

Stifler's - posted on 09/12/2011




I thought burning any country's flag was a serious crime. Maybe that's only during the Olympic games :|

Lady - posted on 09/12/2011




I', actually surprised this was allowed - UK, like Australia don't have the same freedom of speech as America has. I think he they should have been arrested as an act of insighting hatred - I'm surprised they didn't get shot actually - all the police inside and outside the American embassy in London are armed, I hate going there!

Charlie - posted on 09/12/2011




I dont either Emma and maybe its because we as Australians do not have "freedom of speech" and yet we speak freely ...it's just that assholes who would otherwise get away with inciting hatred and violence dont get a free pass...In some cases people SHOULD be held accountable for their words.

Stifler's - posted on 09/11/2011




Don't. People use it as an excuse for hate speech and sadly get away with it.

Kate CP - posted on 09/11/2011




Did you mean to say you do NOT believe in freedom of speech or you DO, Emma?

Stifler's - posted on 09/11/2011




I don't even know what to say to this. I don't believe in freedom of speech and if you go around burning poppies and flags you should be run down.

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