News / USA

US Muslim Leaders Condemn Violent Protests in Libya, Egypt

US Muslim Leaders Condemn Violent Protests in Libya, Egypti
|| 0:00:00
X
Jerome Socolovsky
September 13, 2012 3:34 AM
American Muslim leaders are condemning the killing of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Libya and the assault on the U.S. embassy in Egypt as well as the anti-Islamic video that apparently sparked the attacks. They say violence is not the answer to criticism of their religion. Jerome Socolovsky reports from Washington.

US Muslim Leaders Condemn Violent Protests in Libya, Egypt

American Muslim leaders are condemning the killing of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Libya and the assault on the U.S. embassy in Egypt as well as the anti-Islamic video that apparently sparked the attacks.  They say violence is not the answer to criticism of their religion.

The violence in Benghazi and Cairo has shocked Americans -- including American Muslims.

A group of U.S. Muslim leaders joined other clergy at the National Press Club here in Washington on Wednesday to condemn the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

"We mourn the loss of a champion of freedom," said Imam Mohamed Majid, President of the Indiana-based Islamic Society of North America.

Stevens was killed at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in protests that erupted over the release of a film mocking Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

Majid says it offended him.

"It's okay to be angry; it's okay to be upset because we love the Prophet.  But the way we respond is in the prophetic way, in his way, not the dictated way from other people who tell us we're going to incite you to commit violence so you can distort the image of your prophet furthermore," he said.

The film also offended Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism here in Washington.

"It was made to insult, to degrade, to denigrate, to mock religion in a way that common sense would have told them it was likely to evoke violence, and to do at such a time, to release it just at 9/11 [i.e., September 11, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington] was a particularly repugnant act by those who were involved with the film," Saperstein said.

Similar protests have erupted before.  In 2008 in Indonesia, violence erupted in response to a film by a Dutch politician that attacked Islam's holy book, the Quran.

Haris Tarin, Washington Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, an advocacy group that promotes the integration of Muslims in American society, says there is a small, but committed segment of U.S. society that is trying to defame Islam.

"They're not in the business of trying to promote understanding, better relations, democracy.  They're in the business of demonizing, of hate mongering and trying to marginalize American Muslim communities and incite U.S.-majority Muslim country relations," Tarin said.

Tarin says the protesters in Libya and Egypt were incited by the film to riot, but that they are wrong if they think that America is anti-Muslim. "And the last message that I want to send to our brethren in the Muslim world is that Muslims in America are a vibrant community who enjoy religious freedom to its utmost," he said.

These religious leaders say this is not a conflict between Islam and America, but between fringe groups who want to incite one.

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: lawrence from: Ivory Coast
September 13, 2012 11:33 AM
I watched the part of the film , yes it is stupid and poorly made, So who is this Mohommed??A a Christian I condemn this in the strongest terms senseless act of violence on the USA , But I am here to say, this is not for us to judge or revenge. This is for God to deal with. God doesn't need us, to storm into a embassy and kill people!Who is ur GOD? Do you think I like when my God is brought down to hedonistic levels, no, but I'm not going to do more harm in God's name. God is love, Peace,respect to all Mankid and Wisdom,Is Mohemmed ur GOD?Because I see man with this same name Boming another member with this same religion.So who are u fighting for?God is mercy and most of all God doesn't need me to do anything he is omnipresent, omniscient... God is in control.I Love my father in Heaven.


by: basie from: Leesburg VA
September 13, 2012 11:29 AM
All of us here were deeply saddened by the news,” The ambassador was one of the first advocates in the early stage of the revolution to help the Libyan people to achieve their Goal
“I think no matter what the movie depicts, there’s certainly no justification for retaliating with these kinds of acts. “I don’t know why overseas these things provoke such a reaction. He helped the Libyan people to get rid of the dictator. The one slitting the Libyan people.
Muslims need to Educate our self “The prophet (Muhammad) himself was insulted in person in his life and he never sought revenge or to kill anybody.”


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 13, 2012 8:12 AM
This religion cannot integrate in civil and volatile societies, nay USA. It's like misplaced priority. Muslims through and through prove that they cannot cohabit with sane people and peoples of other faiths; they are not ready to accommodate other people's views and criticism and so cannot be a religion for humans. We must remember that it is because of this domineering posture that peoples of other faiths are almost extinct in countries where islam is predominant - predominant because it systematically destroyed the peoples surrounding it - it itself being the only religion outrightly violent and nihilist. Today the American muslim is preaching peace to be granted a foothold. When that is achieved, the tune will change, and violence with suicide attacks will replace the peace. I won't wish America that luck. God forbid!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid