News / USA

Muslim-Americans: Anti-Islam Film, Violent Protests not Justified

Elizabeth Lee
Many Muslims in the United States have been closely following news reports of protests in the Middle East and the anti-Muslim film that sparked the unrest. 
 
From Los Angeles to New York, Muslim-Americans have been reflecting on what has happened in the Middle East and what caused the violence and protests.

Mustafa from New York says he does not approve of the protesters' actions.

"I don’t like the reaction people who went to the consulate and burn it up, or fire there - but to go and just talk, in peace, and to talk or say you are angry is normal," he said.   

x
Many Muslims including Suraiya in the United States don't approve of the film that sparked the the demonstrations.
 
"They shouldn’t go to that extent to make videos and attack someone like that," said Suraiya. "I mean, of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion but that is a hate video and hate videos - they should be punished for what they did."  

While the film was offensive to them, many Muslims including Edina Lekovic from Los Angeles say the U.S. government should not have censorship laws.

“But I don’t think we should change who we are as a country because the freedom of speech also allows us to be as open as we want to be in this country and practice our Islam to the degree that we want to,” said Lekovic.

College student Wasi Momin says the film alone did not prompt these demonstrations.  He says there are deeper reasons behind the anger.

“You have young folk just riled up many of them jobless coming off a kind of high off the revolution and protesting," said Momin. "I think they need something to direct their energy and effort towards and if they find something like this they acted on it they were impulsive.”

Muslim-Americans say over the years anti-American feelings in the Middle East are also caused by frustration with U.S. foreign policy towards Israel. Spokesman for the Islamic Center of Southern California, Dr. Maher Hathout says the violent acts of protesters do not represent the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.

“Say whatever you say but to storm the streets, shouting and crying a burning flags and storming embassies and you consider yourself defending your religion this is simply idiotic,” he said during Friday Prayers.

He says one reason Muslims in the United States do not share many of the views of Muslims in the Middle East is because the U.S. allows different beliefs to be expressed openly.

“We are kind of used to live with different ideas, with different opinions, with different expressions. So it’s a matter being used to a situation," he said. "Of course if you in a closed situation, you are used to hear your own voice and then a different voice sounds like a strange voice.”

He says neither the anti-Islam film nor the violent protests are justified and do not represent the views of the vast majority of Muslims or non-Muslims in the United States.
{cke_protected}

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid