An Islamic community leader says Muslim organisations have received hundreds of messages of hate from a small "racist" segment of the Australian population after violent protests in Sydney on Saturday.
Samir Dandan, president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, was speaking today at a press conference organised to announce the Islamic community's response to Saturday's events.
At a "historic" meeting between the leaders of 25 Muslim organisations last night - the first time so many diverse Muslim groups have united - religious leaders decided they would develop specific programs "which could affect positive change among the youth".
Dandan said this morning the handful of violent protesters were young "freelancers" in the Muslim community who move between groups and are not tied to any mosque or particular organisation.
"It's our shortcoming," he said.
"We have not really engaged with these individuals."
He said he would like those responsible for criminal acts at the weekend not just to be locked up but, rather, be educated more intensely by mainstream Muslim groups so as not to "drive them more underground and give them a little bit more oxygen".
"We want to engage with them; we want to try to understand what drove them to this mentality," he said.
He said Muslim organisations had received "several hundred" messages of hate and outrage since Saturday.
"There have also been threats made to people, and property, which will be passed on to the authorities," he said.
Dandan called for restraint from the media and politicians.
"Unfortunately, some outlets have used the opportunity to inflame community tensions through sensationalist and unbalanced reporting," he said.
"A similar call is made to politicians who are manipulating the event to their own advantage."
Photos and footage from the unauthorised protest, which moved from Martin Place to Pitt Street Mall and then to Hyde Park, shows mostly young Muslim men and children participating and holding up signs such as "Behead all those who insult the prophet" and "Obama Obama we love Osama".
Facebook messages that circulated on Friday said that the protest was organised by a little-known radical group called Sixth Pillar but Mr Dandan said this was likely to be individuals who quickly grouped together in the days before the protest to print T-shirts.
Dandan said the Muslim community would implement a level of governance to manage any future protests, saying that Muslims would be encouraged to ignore any text messages or Facebook posts that did not come from clear and authorised centres and mosques.
The 25 Muslim leaders who met last night also decided to break ranks with their international counterparts by saying that protests over the YouTube film insulting the prophet Mohammad were unacceptable and unIslamic.
They decided they would not endorse any protest, even peaceful demonstrations, following Saturdays violent scenes, which they said were worse than the Cronulla riots.
As protests continue to erupt around the world, Silma Ihram, a board member of the Australian Muslim Women's Association that "there is no need for further action".
"We've seen enough," she said.
"There is no need for further action. We don't believe it is productive. What is it going to achieve?"
The sentiment is not shared by global leaders - such as the Lebanon-based Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah who called for more protests overnight - or many of Saturday's protesters.
The demonstrators have vowed to rally again this Sunday and, according to one Facebook post, believed that last weekend "showed everyone that we will stand up for our religion".
Dandan said the community had been receiving hundreds of threats against people and property from a small racist segment of the Australian population.
He called on the police to investigate their own actions at the rally, saying numerous reports of heavy-handedness and brutality had been received by his association.
Sheik Feiz Mohammed and the Hizb ut-Tahrir group, both linked with extremist teachings and with Saturdays protest, were not invited to last night's meeting and did not attend.
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD with AAP