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Rally in Russia condemns Prophet Muhammad's caricature
Sunday January 18, 2015 0:04 AM, IANS

Over 20,000 people staged a rally in the Russian republic of Ingushetia, Saturday, to protest against the unfavourable portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad in the media.

The participants at the gathering, called "Islam against Terrorism and Extremism", in Ingushetia's capital Magas, said Islam was a religion of peace and kindness and claimed to be outraged by the actions of those who continued to ignore the feelings of the Muslims and publish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

"These actions are aimed against a most humane religion" and "leaders of European countries have supported the politics of desecration by having organised the (protest) march", the rally participants said adding, "terrorists are not Muslims, but those who desecrate a religion".

"We have joined this rally because of the desecration of the Prophet Muhammad, the desecration of our religion," Mufti Issa Hadji Khamoyev said.

He said the feelings of a believer were insulted not only by the actions of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which continues publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, but also by the actions of the Western leaders, whose politics, according to him, has caused discord.

Addressing the rally, Ingushetia's head, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, said the publication of the humiliating cartoons of Prophet Muhammad "is nothing but a demonstration of extremism from certain Western countries".

"No doubt, any reasonable person is against violence or terrorist acts. They cannot be approved. The Prophet was a peacekeeper and proved to be one," Yevkurov said.

He expressed hope that "the destructive policies to heat up contradictions between nations would not develop further in the West and would be buried by the reasonable members of the society".

The rally came in the wake of last week's terrorist attack on the Paris office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 people dead.

The magazine had courted controversy over its portrayal of Prophet Mohammed.

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