Muslim leaders today pleaded for calm following violent protests in Sydney over the weekend.

They rejected claims of an extremist culture in Australia, saying any violence goes against the teachings of Islam.

Benjamin Phillips reports.


Scenes like this in Sydney are what Muslim leaders want to distance themselves from.

Muslim organistations around Australia have received hundreds of hate messages following the violent protests over the weekend.

Twenty five Muslim leaders met last night pleading that the actions of a very small minority not be used to tarnish the reputation of the whole community.

Samir Dandan, Lebanese Muslim Association:”The majority of the Australian Muslim community particularly the mainstream have not and will not educate our children in a way that Islam does not believe in.”

They rejected claims their children are being radicalised and echoed condemnation of children holding signs calling for those who insult the Prophet to be beheaded.

Samir Dandan, Lebanese Muslim Association:”It’s an image that we condemn, unequivocally, we are very stressed to see such images.”

Calling for calm, they urged any more rallies to be called off.

Silma Ihram, Australian Muslim Women’s Association:”We discourage everybody from at the moment taking any further action in regard to this ridiculous film which has attracted way beyond the attention that it deserves. We encourage everybody to calm down.”

Ongoing meetings are planned to ensure the weekend’s scenes aren’t repeated.

Benjamin Phillips, QUT News.