Thousands take part in Belfast anti-racism march

Demonstration comes after Pastor James McConnell’s apology over remarks on Islam

File photograph of young peopple at an anti-racism demonstration in Dublin. Thousands took part in a march in Belfast today.

File photograph of young peopple at an anti-racism demonstration in Dublin. Thousands took part in a march in Belfast today.

Sat, Jun 7, 2014, 18:32

Thousands of people have taken part in an anti-racism demonstration in Belfast.

Representatives from the Muslim community and trade unions were among those who spoke at a rally before the marchers set off to walk from Writers’ Square to Belfast City Hall, the BBC reported today.

The march comes after a Belfast pastor apologised for calling Islam “heathen” and “satanic”. Organisers said the deomonstration was to “reassure ethnic and religious minorities in Northern Ireland”.

Pastor James McConnell made a public apology for his remarks yesterday.

The march was led by the city’s Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon, president of the Irish Council of Churches Dr Donald Watts, and a member of Northern Ireland’s Muslim community Dr Mazhar M Khan.

The Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions estimated as many as 7,000 people took part.

The organisers voiced concern over the rise in the number of racist attacks and said the march was “a coming together of civic society to show solidarity with all ethnic and religious minorities in Northern Ireland.”