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A demonstration by Muslims calling for some limits to freedom of speech attracted a small number of counter protesters from the English Defence League (EDL) and Britain First.
People taking part in the Muslim Action Forum event carried placards with slogans including "ABSOLUTE Freedom of Speech - no such thing", "To Insult Is Not Freedom" and "Learn Some Manners".
In response to the demonstration, small groups carrying Britain First banners and EDL flags also gathered on Whitehall. Some shouted "Je Suis Charlie" and some chanted racist slogans.
Hundreds of Muslims have gathered in Whitehall as part of a demonstration against the recent publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The protest was organised by the Muslim Action Forum. Participants said they were campaigning for global civility and wanted to encourage people to live together harmoniously.
The group has been running a petition on its website, which has so far collected 106,496 signatures.
It reads: "I believe that through mutual consideration and the revival of civility as a shared medium of dialogue we are better equipped to reconstructing a more enlightened society."
The petition also includes the following points:
- I endorse emphatically the Declaration of Global Civility drafted by the campaigners of Global Civility
- I call upon the British Parliament to table a debate in both Houses of Parliament to discuss the endorsement of the Declaration of Global Civility
- I call upon all civilised people and institutions globally to disassociate themselves from any actions that are an affront to global civility
- I denounce the actions of all those people who are connected with the production of the cartoons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon Him, and believe that these actions are an affront to the norms of civilised society.