Peaceful protests against Islam film in Germany
The online news portal of TV5
BERLIN—Around 1,500 people staged a peaceful protest in the western German city of Dortmund Saturday against a film mocking the Prophet Mohammed that has enraged Muslims around the world, police said.
A police spokesman said the demonstrators, including many families with children, marched through the city centre and ended the protest with a rally.
"It was absolutely trouble-free and without problems," he said.
On Friday around 1,000 people held peaceful demonstrations in the western cities of Freiburg and Muenster. Further protests were expected over the weekend in Karlsruhe in the southwest and Hanover in the north.
Demonstrators on Friday carried signs reading "Yes to freedom of expression, no to insults" and "I am protesting against the lack of respect toward my beloved Prophet Mohammed".
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert on Friday called for the protests to remain peaceful, saying violence was never justified in religious disputes, whether in Germany or abroad.
"That should be our watchword, everywhere," he told a regular government news conference.
Daily demonstrations against the US-made film and French cartoons mocking Islam have rocked the Muslim world, with violent protests in Pakistan Friday leaving at least 21 people dead.
A far-right group has threatened to screen the video in Germany, prompting a heated debate over whether authorities can ban the film from being shown on security grounds without violating constitutionally protected freedom of expression.