US Muslims: Defend Free Speech, Denounce Profane Video
The Islamic Society of North America has strongly condemned the violence in Egypt and in Libya, while denouncing the “profane video” that ignited it.
ISNA President Imam Magid told reporters at a news conference Wednesday in Washington that his organization “unequivocally condemns the killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, and his staff, and condemns the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.”
Although, as Magid noted, the violence was allegedly a reaction to a satiric video about the life of the founder of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed, “in a profane manner”... one that was “hateful and bigoted, this could never be an excuse to commit any acts of violence whatsoever,” he said firmly.
"No one should fall into the trap of those who wish to incite anger. The Prophet, peace be upon him, should be our example in everything we do, and even though he was attacked and insulted many times throughout his life, he always reacted with compassion and forgiveness, never with revenge or violence,” Magid said..
Regarding the video itself, the organization said the making of the film “presents an extremely false narrative of American society and of American values. It does not represent the views of the American public as a whole, nor does it represent Jews, Christians or people of any other faith. We condemn the creation of such a hateful video,” ISNA said in its statement, calling for an end to “support for such mechanisms of hatred and bigotry. It is inexcusable to propagate such hateful media, and to lend a helping hand to those who would do this, knowing full well that it may incite some to violence.”
However, the obscure, amateur video was produced and out on the Internet at least six months earlier before the violence was triggered. Its translation into Arabic was recent.
U.S. sources told CNN on Wednesday they do not believe the savage mob that murdered Ambassador Stevens and three other American diplomats in Libya came in reaction to the film.
"It was not an innocent mob,” a senior official told the news network. “The video, or '9/11' made it a handy excuse and could be fortuitous from their perspective, but this was a clearly planned military-type attack,” he said.
Two separate U.S. properties were attacked in Benghazi on Tuesday night – first, the main compound where the American ambassador was located, and subsequently, a second U.S. compound in the same area.