Thousands attend anti-racism march in Belfast

Protestor at the anti-racism rally
Protestor at the anti-racism rally

Thousands of people have taken part in an anti-racism march in Belfast which was organised in response to increasing incidents of hate crime and remarks made about Islam by Pastor James McConnell.

Organisers said it was designed to “reassure ethnic and religious minorities in Northern Ireland”.

Among those who spoke at the rally ahead of the march were representatives of the Muslim community and trade union representatives.

Pastor James McConnell made a public apology on Friday for calling Islam “heathen” and “satanic”.

First Minister Peter Robinson was also heavily criticised when he backed Mr McConnell, although he said his remarks had been misinterpreted.

On Tuesday, Mr Robinson visited the Belfast Islamic Centre and made a public apology for his comments.