CAIRO - A planned march against a US-made film insulting Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) in Bradford on Friday, September 28, is dividing Muslim imams in the northern British city.
If it goes ahead and it's peaceful then that's all right, Syad Hussain, spokesman of the Bradford Imams Forum (BIF), told the Telegraph & Argus.
But there is a serious risk that it could go wrong and break the peace we live in and enjoy in this city right now.
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Muslims are planned to march in Bradford to denounce a US film depicting the prophet as womanizer and a religious fake.
But the march has raised concerns that it might degenerate into violence.
Muslims are peaceful people, Hussain said.
We have good relationships with our neighbors - we don't want that to be undone.
Similar concerns were echoed by other BIF members.
Bradford Imams Forum believes there is no need for such a protest. Things can go wrong, BIF member Mustaqueem Shah tweeted.
Protests against the film sometimes spawned into violence, which left scores of people dead, including the US ambassador in Libya.
Saudi Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh has said that attacks on foreign embassies over the film run counter to the peaceful teachings of Islam.
"Such acts damage the Muslim religion, are not permitted by God and are incompatible with the teachings of the Prophet, he said.
But other Muslim imams believe that the march should go as planned despite the concerns.
Mohamed Saleem Khan, the chief executive of the Council For Mosques, said he was absolutely convinced the protest will go without trouble.
We had an emergency meeting earlier this week with representatives from all Bradford's mosques and with senior leaders and the feeling was clear we should have a protest.
Mosque imams will also focus their Friday sermons on the need to keep the anti-prophet march peaceful.
The police said it will be on alert to prevent the march degenerating into violence.
We do not know how many people will be attending the event, however. We are aware people feel strongly about the video and wish to express their views, a police spokesman said.
The police are working closely with the organizers from the Bradford Council of Mosques to assist them in managing this safely.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.5 million.The majority of the multi-ethnic minority has Indian, Bengali and Pakistani backgrounds.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net