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U.S. Muslims condemn killings of American diplomats in Libya

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American Muslim civil advocacy groups Wednesday strongly condemned the killings of the U.S. Ambassador J Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats and the attack on the American embassy in Egypt.

This senseless act of violence occurred amidst angry protests decrying an anti-Islamic film produced in the U.S. that appeared on YouTube. Thousands of Egyptians also protested the film at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo Tuesday.

Led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a number of Muslim organizations, held a news conference Wednesday on the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to condemn the killings of the American ambassador to Libya and three other diplomats.

Other organizations represented at the news conference included Naeem Baig, Vice President of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Rafiuddin, President of the Council of Muslim Organizations of the Greater Washington, D.C., Area (CMO), and Johari Abdul Malik of the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center. A representative of the Libyan Emergency Task Force   also addressed the press conference. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council also issued statements condemning the brutal killings.

In their statements the Muslim groups emphasized that while the purposeful provocation of any religious group is divisive and reprehensible, however, responding with violence only plays into the hands of those who seek to divide us and inevitably leads to painful loss.

They said ee must not let extremists control the political or religious discourse which means that people of all beliefs should repudiate those who would commit acts of violence in response to intentional provocations and repudiate those whose only goal is offending religious sentiments.

While extending their deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of those killed, the Muslim groups urged Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world to always react with reason, not anger, against any ignorant attack on Islam.

They appealed to Muslims in the Arab region and elsewhere to ignore cheap attempts for publicity by hateful bigots. By engaging in violence Muslims are not only harming innocent lives but also falling in the trap set up by bigots.

They also appealed to the larger American public to be wary of such attempts by individuals and groups, who in most cases have foreign ties, engaging in such hateful projects that not only endanger American and others' lives overseas, but also incite hate attacks against minorities in America as well.

Demos in Tunisia

Tunisian police fired teargas and rubber bullets into the air Wednesday to disperse a protest over a US-made film depicting the Prophet Mohammad near the US Embassy in the capital Tunis, according to Reuters.

Around 200 protesters, many of whom with long beards and wearing robes, threw rocks at the police, burned US flags and chanted slogans such as "Obama, Obama, we are here for the triumph of Islam" and "Mohammad is the master of creation".

Police chased the protesters away while Tunisian army soldiers guarded the embassy building.

Egyptians angry at film scale U.S. embassy walls

In Cairo, Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy on Tuesday, tore down the American flag and burned it during a protest over the film.

Event Christians joined the protest. Rafik Farouk, 38, an Egyptian Christian, also took part. "I am here because I am Egyptian and reject anything that insults Islam or anything that sparks division in Egypt," he told Reuters.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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