U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three embassy workers were killed Tuesday (Sept. 11) when fundamentalist protestors attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in response to a low-budget film that attacks Islam?s Prophet Muhammad, reportedly made by an Israeli real estate developer who lives in California

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three embassy workers were killed Tuesday (Sept. 11) when fundamentalist protestors attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in response to a low-budget film that attacks Islam?s Prophet Muhammad, reportedly made by an Israeli real estate developer who lives in California

Muslim Americans condemned violence in Egypt and Libya that left four Americans dead, but remain concerned that the deaths could rekindle anti-Muslim sentiment just as post-9/11 resentment was starting to ebb.

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three embassy workers were killed Tuesday (Sept. 11) when fundamentalist protestors attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in response to a low-budget film that attacks Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, reportedly made by an Israeli real estate developer who lives in California.

Imam Talal Eid, the Islamic chaplain at Brandeis University near Boston and a former member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, predicted the violence would lead to “more resentment” against Muslims, who he criticized for not doing enough against terrorism.

“Muslim Americans never initiated a big demonstration against terrorism and people of their own faith who commit these crimes,” Eid said. “The leaders of American Muslims should initiate a big demonstration to show that Muslims take the issue of terrorism seriously, otherwise people will ask what are those Muslims doing.”

Nasser Weddady, the civil rights outreach director at the American Islamic Congress, agreed that protests would be useful.

“We could, as a community, do what the Libyans did, and take to the streets and protest,” said Weddady, referring to the Libyan revolution that overthrew dictator Moammar Gadhafi last year.

“We have to work harder to let people know that Muslims in America are well integrated into American life, and thriving, and that we have religious freedom here,” said Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America, acknowledged that the violence could hurt relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, but said improved relations were also possible.

“The reaction of the faith community, by standing together, has been fantastic,” he said. “I’m hoping this could bring people together and not divide us the way the filmmakers intended.”

Some Muslims said the violence was not spontaneous, but rather orchestrated by Islamic fundamentalists. “It’s how they try to stay relevant, by manipulating people’s religious sentiments and anti-American feelings,” said Weddady.

“This is no coincidence, and I suspect the work of the public relations units of sophisticated terrorist groups who have been spoiling for a fight,” said Ebrahim Moosa, a professor of Islamic studies at Duke University. “It might be time that religious leaders in the Muslim world desist from playing the blasphemy card if they do not wish to hand a victory to provocateurs who are hell-bent on destabilizing their societies.”

6 Comments

  1. So far I haven’t heard much official condemnation of the attacks by Muslims. If they were really upset about it, other than it just might affect them negatively, if they were really sincerely upset about the violence, it seems there would be much more loud official condemnation by leading Muslims.

  2. “..concerned that the deaths could rekindle anti-Muslim sentiment.”

    I imagine the family of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the others are feeling a fair amount of ‘sentiment’ right now.

    These type of articles kind of tick me off. Let’s get the blame and focus on the KILLERS not the victims or the potential next victims. This line of reasoning escapes me, it’s like blaming rape victims for wearing shorts or having attractive bodies, THAT isn’t the issue for heavens sakes!

    The issue is paticurly now in this day ISLAMIC religious fanaticism that KILLS people and teaches the faithful to murder in the name of God, country culture or doctrine.

    THAT is what we need to focus upon…the MURDERERS not the fears of those who wonder if they are going to be bombed, stoned, have their throats slit or imprisoned.

    I’ve got a question post 9.11 that I really need answered:

    “Just what are we supposed to REMEMBER AND NEVER FORGET?”

  3. I’m really sad because what is happening . I’m a Muslim girl and Islam is religion of Peace but Intolerance, Ignorance and Erroneous judgment on the events make some of them crazy .
    It is wrong to deal with this case with barbarism. some of them still mourn and deeds of others and not penalize ourselves for our mistakes ..
    who die and fall victims of terrorism are our sons , are human and what we face, sorry !!! And accuse each other!!
    When will raise our our Islam .. When we show by our actions and not Islam by our voice and spread the true of our religion and erase terror of the world’s dictionaries
    oh Muslims act objectively and fix the problem from the depth so not to leave gaps extends others ..
    when we want to protect our prophet , we must correct misconceptions and spread our truth ethic and religion.

  4. I’m really sad because what is happening . I’m a Muslim girl and Islam is religion of Peace but Intolerance, Ignorance and Erroneous judgment on the events make some of them crazy .
    It is wrong to deal with this case with barbarism. some of them still mourn and deeds of others and not penalize ourselves for our mistakes ..
    who die and fall victims of terrorism are our sons , are human and what we face, sorry !!! And accuse each other!!
    When will raise our our Islam .. When we show by our actions by our voice and spread the true of our religion and erase terror of the world’s dictionaries
    oh Muslims act objectively and fix the problem from the depth so not to leave gaps extends others ..
    when we want to protect our prophet , we must correct misconceptions and spread our truth ethic and religion.
    i need to show other that Muslims are not related to what happened for the embassy . and we are sorry a bout the ambassador who have killed in Libya.
    Some extremist groups are exploited the anger of the protesters

  5. Sara, something I’ve always wondered about is, why do Muslims feel a need to “protect the prophet” as you say? You really don’t see Christians rioting and doing violence when someone makes fun of Jesus (which happens all the time in Western culture). I guess we figure that if making fun of Jesus was a bad enough sin to be punished for, God would do the punishing rather than us. What’s the mentality behind these riots, and other such cases?

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