The protest occurred on Friday the 3rd of February. The Metropolitan Police stated in a briefing that 450 protesters attended the Friday demonstration, 3,500 attended on Saturday in protests by other groups. The protesters waved placards reading slogans such as "Massacre those who insult Islam", "Butcher those who mock Islam", "Be prepared for the real holocaust", "Europe you will pay, your 9/11 is on the way", or "7/7 is on its way"; "Europe you will pay, Bin Laden is on his way", "Freedom go to hell" and "Europe you'll come crawling, when the Mujahideen come roaring". Despite the similar theme on al Ghurabaa's website, their spokesman, Anjem Choudary, said he did not know who wrote the placards , , All the placards were written in the same style and in similar black felt-tip pen ink suggesting that they were written by one person and then handed out.
Bricklaying student Omar Khayam, 22, from Bedford, was photographed wearing a garment resembling a suicide bomber's jacket outside the Danish Embassy. Police tried to stop press photographers from taking pictures of Omar in the 'bomb vest' Omar said he had no regrets about his style of dress, telling the Daily Express, "I didn't go there to cause anyone any harm. I went along just to attend a protest. Yet I have been branded a suicide bomber overnight. Did I say, 'Kill Jews?' No. Did I have racist signs on me? No. So why this reaction?" He went on, "Yes, I would do it again to make a point. I could have gone along and held up banners or something, but this made the point better"
Two men attended the protest to stage a counter-demonstration, handing out leaflets reading "Free speech or no free speech? You decide" and "Should these cartoons be banned?".
David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, said that slogans such as "Massacre those who insult Islam" amounted to incitement to murder and that police should take "a no tolerance" approach to them. He told the Sunday Telegraph, "Clearly, some of these placards are incitement to violence and indeed incitement to murder." Dominic Grieve, the Conservative legal affairs spokesman, expressed concern that it could prove impossible to identify those responsible because arrests had not been made at the time He said, "It is certainly not a happy state of affairs where such a demonstration takes place and those people who are acting in that way don't end up under arrest before the demonstration is ended." David Winnick, on the Commons home affairs committee, said those carrying banners threatening violence should be prosecuted and, where possible, deported. "Those who are temporarily in Britain, the sooner they are out of the country the better," he said. "Those who have been given permission to live here, insofar as it is possible in law, it would be better for this country and indeed for the Muslim community if that right was removed." The Labour MP Shahid Malik, also on the committee, wrote to Sir Ian Blair, head of the Metropolitan Police, calling for prosecutions
Tony Blair said, "There is a real sense of outrage....it is very important for our overall good relations in this country that people understand there is no political correctness that should prevent the police from taking whatever action they think is necessary" Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat President states, "To forbid the freedom to offend is not compatible with modern multi-cultural societies. But inciting violence is always wrong and a crime. The leaders of the great faith communities should together make clear that the strength of their religions can withstand all attacks, satirical or otherwise. They should respond to attacks with frankness and clarity but never with hate or retaliation"
UK newspapers express disgust at Omar Khayam's protest and his picture made the front page of The Sun. Pictures of Khayam was among those studied by the Scotland Yard team, which also examined police CCTV and sound recordings to identify any offenders and pass on evidence of any offences to the Crown Prosecution Service
The Metropolitan Police, under fire for the lack of arrests, issued a statement, "Those gathered were well natured and in the main compliant with police requests. Arrests, if necessary, will be made at the most appropriate time. This should not be seen as a sign of lack of action ... The decision to arrest at a public order event must be viewed in the context of the overall policing plan and the environment the officers are operating in. Specialist officers were deployed on both days to record any potential evidence should it be needed at any point in the future. All complaints will be passed to the public order crime unit for further investigation" On 6 February, the Home Office requested briefing from the Metropolitan Police's Public Order Branch to provide assessment of two demonstrations. This document was later obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act and its contents were reported, including some controversial claims. The document states that the Saturday protesters "were encouraged by a large group of photographers and cameramen" although no news organisations or individual's names were given
The protest was also condemned by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, an organization which encourages British Muslims to vote against politicians who support the Iraq war and/or Israel. MPACUK's leader Asghar Bukhari called for the arrest of the protest's leaders
William Hague, standing in for David Cameron, said at Prime Minister's Questions that the inclusion of "glorification" in the Bill was mere spin, an attempt to give the impression that tough action was being taken. "Wouldn’t it be better to have a watertight law designed to catch the guilty, rather than a press release law designed to catch the headlines?" he said, to Tory cheers. Tony Blair replied, "If we take out the word 'glorification' it sends a massive counter productive signal". Blair insisted that an offence of glorifying terror was the only way to prosecute demonstrators who carry banners praising the 7/7 bombers. He said that existing laws only allowed prosecutions for preaching hate by word of mouth, but not by the written word or through placards. Mr Hague said that he was mistaken
There was considerable outcry at the perceived inaction on the part of the police to counter the protests. David Davis wrote to the Home Secretary stating that "[t]here is a clear public interest in ensuring that those who incite murder are appropriately dealt with and an equal public interest that there is no unnecessary delay. Furthermore, not to take action is to let down the moderate Muslim majority" . It was reported that members of the public made more than 500 complaints to Scotland Yard about the demonstration.
The two charges of using either spoken or written words to cause 'Intentional Harassment, Alarm Or Distress', under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, carry a maximum sentence of 6 months' imprisonment , whereas those causing 'Racially Aggravated Intentional Harassment, Alarm Or Distress', under Section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, carry a maximum sentence of 2 years' imprisonment .
On 7 March 2006, having reviewed 60 hours of footage from closed-circuit television, amongst other evidence, and after consultation with and authorisation by the Crown Prosecution Service, the Metropolitan Police announced, "We have been advised today that there are sufficient grounds to arrest individuals for offences under the Public Order Act. This includes offences that are racially or religiously aggravated" . It was reported in The Sun that 22 individuals had "been considered for prosecution and police are trying to identify all of them" .
On 15 March 2006, five men were arrested and charged for their roles in the protests; one of them was charged and held in custody, two were charged and released on police bail to attend court, and the remaining two were released on police bail for further inquiries. Further arrest were made in the following months and a total of six people have been criminally charged.
Omar Bakri Mohammed, speaking from Lebanon, issued a warning to Britain after a police raid on his London home, "I am warning the British government - you are playing with fire. Let them go to hell - all of them. Play with fire and you burn your fingers." He said his family was "terrified" as the police searched his London home, adding, "They took my computers" .
At the time of the five people being charged, Nick Clegg, home affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said "Whilst we understand why the police did not want to intervene on the day of the protests, it is inexplicable why they have waited six weeks to make these arrests. These show that current legislation is adequate to arrest people, and shows how misguided the Government were in trying to press ahead with some aspects of the Religious Hatred Bill" .