Perth's Islamic leaders have condemned the violent protests in Sydney and urged Muslims in WA to remain calm after an anti-Islamic film sparked demonstrations across the world.
Islamic Council of WA spokesman Ali Chaudhry said religious leaders in Perth were shocked and appalled by the protests.
"The Islamic Council of WA and other Islamic leaders here outright condemn the violence in Sydney," he said. "We support peaceful protest but there is no need for violence. I have spoken to many colleagues and friends and we are all shocked, absolutely shocked, by what we are seeing."
Mr Chaudhry urged Australians not to judge the Muslim community on the actions of a few. "The actions of the violent protesters were not in line with the teachings of Islam and example set by Prophet Mohammed," he said.
"We urge the Australian society to not judge us on the actions of a few who do not represent the majority of Australian Muslims - just as we shouldn't judge Australians based on the Cronulla riots."
The US-made film Innocence of Muslims mocks Prophet Mohammed and touches on themes of homosexuality and paedophilia.
Sheikh Faizel Gaffoor, who preaches at several mosques around Perth, said he had not seen the film but understood why people felt emotional about it.
"There is a strong bond that exists between Muslims and their Prophet - we are taught to love the Prophet so when he is disrespected, people react in the same way as when a loved one or family member is disrespected," he said.
"Some people feel if they don't react to this sort of insult that they are not doing enough to protect the dignity of the Prophet, that they are weak Muslims.
"There is no reason to feel like that. There are other ways to combat ridicule, through dialogue and calm discussion.
"Taking part in an action that encourages hatred and puts women and children at risk is not fulfilling your rights as a Muslim."
Sheikh Gaffoor said it was important for people to remember the film was the work of an individual, not a nation."This film has nothing to do with the actual policies . . . of the US Government," he said.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.