Muslim groups condemn violence over video

Sep 17, 2012 | News

By Ryan Saundercook

Barack Obama signs the condolence book for Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed during last week’s violent protests in Benghazi. COURTESY Pete Souza, The White House.

Clashes continue in the Middle East over the controversial anti-Islam video titled Innocence of Muslims, released by U.S. religious group “Media for Christ.” Now, various Muslim organizations are condemning the violent protests sparked by the video, which was posted to YouTube and denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.

Canada’s largest national non-profit and wholly independent Islamic organization, the Canadian Islamic Congress, strongly stands against the violent protests taking place in opposition to the film.

“Our position is that Muslims, whether in Canada or abroad do not need to respond to such things, especially in any aggressive or violent way,” Amin Elshorbagy, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, told Humber News. “We are certainly unhappy about the film but that’s about it. We can always express our unhappiness in a reasonable way.”

Elshorbagy said the international protests only hurt Islam’s image.

“Certainly when things go out of control, especially in some of the Middle-Eastern countries, I don’t see it helping the Islamic cause in any way. And Muslims have so many other tools. They don’t need to react in this way.”

The controversial film trailer, which openly mocks Islam and its Prophet Muhammad, was broadcast on an Egyptian-Islamist television station on Sept. 8. Protests quickly broke out in Egypt and Libya, and soon spread across the Middle East.

According to an Al-Jazeera article, protests are taking place in at least 20 countries worldwide.

Protests turned especially violent on Sept. 11 when U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed during a mob attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced the killing of the U.S. envoy in Benghazi soon after it occurred.

“We condemn the disgraceful killings of the American diplomats in Libya in the strongest terms possible,” said Nihad Awad, CAIR national executive, in a prepared statement to the press. “We also condemn the attack on our nation’s diplomatic facilities in Libya and Egypt. The actions of the attackers are totally inexcusable and un-Islamic.”