News / USA

    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.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora