Muslim, Arab, & Interfaith Organizations Condemn Attacks on U.S. Embassies - updated 9/20

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Muslim, Arab, & Interfaith Organizations Condemn Attacks on U.S. Embassies and “Innocence of Muslims” film

Note:  we will continue to add to this collection as information is received


The President of Libya, Mohamed Magariaf, issued a statement saying

“We refuse that our nation’s lands be used for cowardice and revengeful acts. It is not a victory for God’s Sharia or his prophet for such disgusting acts to take place….We apologize to the United States, the people of America, and the entire world. We and the American government are standing on the same side, we stand on the same side against outlaws.”

Sohail Nakhooda posted this statement from Aref Nayed, Former Ambassador of Libya to the UAE, Member of the League of Libyan Ulema:

This is to express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his fallen colleagues, and to the American people and government. I had the honor of personally knowing Ambassador Stevens, and witnessed, firsthand, in Benghazi and later in Tripoli, the care and hard work that he devoted to fulfilling his duties towards his country and towards Libya and the Libyan people. He was a man of dedication and honor, and I am shocked and deeply anguished for the loss of a dear friend and supporter of the Libyan people’s struggle against tyranny. Tyranny and darkness may wear a thousand guises, including pseudo-religiosity, but must never deceive us. Islam is a religion of peace and understanding, and Islam’s Prophet (peace be upon him) is the Prophet of Compassion. It is outrageous and totally unacceptable for criminals to kill and destroy in the name of defending Islam and its Prophet (peace be upon him). The criminals who committed this cowardly act must be rigorously pursued and rapidly brought to justice. May this tragic loss make us even more dedicated and determined to building our respective countries, based on the values of dialogue, understanding, and peace.

The Islamic Networks Group released a statement:

Islamic Networks Group (ING) and its Affiliates across the nation condemn in the strongest possible terms the extremist attacks on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday, September 11th, one of which killed U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stephens along with three of his staff members. The parties responsible for these events in both nations claimed to be reacting to an online film considered offensive to Islam.

As with previous instances of the Danish cartoons or Qur’an burning, it is important to emphasize that it is a greater defamation of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’an to react with violence and murder of innocent people– one of the greatest sins in Islam–than any claimed insult from an Islamophobic film. Those who responded in such a manner should instead study the Prophet Muhammad’s example in the face of harm. On a daily basis, Muhammad was exposed to demeaning abuse for 13 years during the early years of his mission. His response was not to return insult for insult or hurt for hurt, but to pray for his persecutors and overlook their insults. In a famous Islamic tradition, he stated: “It is not allowed to cause harm to others or to return harm for harm.”

It is also an Islamic principle that one does not blame or punish another for the crimes of another. The employees at the embassies were in no way responsible for the actions of either Terry Jones or the producers of the film. Such extreme responses, in fact, can only help Islamophobic interests. Such actions and reactions are but a useless cycle of hate that benefit no one and as occurred yesterday, can be potentially dangerous and even deadly.

ING and its Affiliates are committed to upholding the right to freedom of expression and unconditionally condemn any use of violence as a means to protest offensive or hateful speech.  In the United States, this fundamental, inalienable right is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The answer to speech we find deeply offensive is more speech—speech that tells the true story of Islam—not censorship or violence. Acts of violence carried out in the name of Islam are a greater offense against Islam than the content of any film or speech.  ING President Maha Elgenaidi urges both fellow Muslims and fellow Americans to “Work together for a more peaceful world and take this opportunity to redouble efforts towards peace and harmony through increased outreach, dialogue, and understanding.”

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)  released a statement

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is deeply disturbed to learn about an online video being circulated by anti-Muslim hate groups that depicts the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a very profane manner. The making of this video 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, and we also call 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.

ISNA continues to work with communities of all faiths to respond to bigotry and hatred against Muslims. When issues of anti-Muslim bigotry arise, many people of goodwill stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us to condemn them and to work for a better society for all people. Prominent Jewish and Christian leaders across America are among the first to support our community, with the perspective that to attack one religion is, in effect, to attack all religions. We work with them day in and day out, united in a common purpose of peace and mutual respect, and we know that the messages in this video stand in stark contrast with their moral and religious values. We are confident that they will continue to stand with us in condemnation of this video and in support of Muslim communities as we face the many challenges ahead. We urge all religious communities to publicly condemn this act and help make clear that we are united against hatred, regardless of circumstance.

As horrific and offensive as the video might be, nothing justifies the sort of violent acts we have heard reported in Egypt and Libya. Already four innocent people have lost their lives in Libya, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was a great friend and ally of the Libyan people. As we mourn the loss of these individuals, we call on Muslims across the world not to pay any attention to the voices of extremists such as the ones that created this video. These individuals do not represent our American government—in fact, many of them crudely insult our President more regularly than they insult Muslims—and they do not represent the vast majority of Americans. Our great country guarantees all of its citizens the right to freedom of speech, and unfortunately some use this simply to perpetrate bigotry and hatred. The words of these individuals are intended only to create tension and to solicit violent reactions from Muslims and people of other faiths around the world. It is critical that no one aid them in this task. As American Muslims, we can state with confidence that these individuals hold views which remain on the fringes of our society. The vast majority of Americans and American news outlets completely disregard them, and we urge all people around the world to do the same.

As ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid stated, “As Muslims, we love our Prophet (peace be upon him) dearly. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (may He be glorified and exalted) has praised the Prophet (peace be upon him). No video could impact his status in our hearts.”

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) published a statement

The Muslim Public Affairs Council today strongly condemns the attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Cairo and Benghazi, Libya, and we grieve along with the rest of our nation over the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. These attacks were not just an attack on our embassies but on our nation as a whole.

The attacks come after a low-budget movie on YouTube called “Muhammad” incited anger by depicting Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a demeaning and degrading manner. MPAC condemns the film and its desecration of religious symbols.

“This is a sad day for America as we mourn the deaths of four citizens who were living in a country to help Libyans achieve freedom,” said Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC President. “It is deplorable and unfortunate that such an irrelevant film has succeeded in its objectives of causing violence and death in Egypt and Libya.”

The Muslim Public Affairs Council released a series of videos by some of the most well-recognized and prominent American Muslim scholars and leaders calling on all people of consciousness to bring an end to senseless violence in the massive demonstrations that have swept across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.  In the first of a series of videos Dr. Maher Hathout, MPAC’s Senior Adviser, and Nouman Ali Khan, the Founder of Bayyinah Institute, examine the current protests against an amateur anti-Muslim hate video in light of the Prophet’s example of responding to hate and intolerance with patience and wisdom.  The videos are being released in both Arabic and Urdu.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) published a statement asking Mideast Muslims to ignore ‘Trashy’ Anti-Islam Film

“We urge that this ignorant attempt to provoke the religious feelings of Muslims in the Arabic-speaking world be ignored and that its extremist producers not be given the cheap publicity they so desperately seek. Those who created this trashy film do not represent the people of America or the Christian faith. The only proper response to intentional provocations such as this film is to redouble efforts to promote mutual understanding between faiths and to marginalize extremists of all stripes.  We condemn the attack on the American embassy, which had nothing to do with the production of this intentionally inflammatory film.”

CAIR also released a video appeal in Yoruba, a language spoken by more than 20 million people, to those protesting an anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.

In the CAIR video, Imam AbduSemih Tadese of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh tells viewers in West Africa that the U.S. government has described the film as “distasteful” for its offensive caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. (NOTE: The appeal was produced for CAIR by Take1Media of Cleveland, Ohio.)

In the video, the Imam says: “It is clear that the motive behind the film is to enrage Muslims and to display a hatred of Islam. However, Muslims need to demonstrate good behavior as our Prophet (peace be upon him) dealt harmoniously with people. I hereby appeal to our scholars to calm down the youth and encourage people to cultivate exemplary behavior as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) teaches.”  He goes on to say: “I want to remind you of the words of God in the Quran: ‘Hold to forgiveness; enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant.’” [The Holy Quran 7:199]

The Arab-American Institute (AAI) published a statement:

The attack on U.S. diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya is an outrageous and horrible tragedy. The film that the demonstrators claim to be protesting might be deplorable, but it is no excuse for the wanton murder of innocent diplomats. This was an act of murder, plain and simple. We wholeheartedly support the strong and clear position expressed this morning by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and as we reflect on this tragedy, we need to remember that it was carried out by a small mob that in no way characterizes the opinions and attitudes of people in the region.

It is good that the Libyan government has condemned this act, but now they must take immediate steps to hunt down those who committed this crime and bring them to justice. If they are to be a government, they must act like one.  If the Libyans do not act quickly, there will be no doubt be severe political consequences for their country. 

A final note about Ambassador Chris Stevens: Ambassador Stevens was a model diplomat who served his country with grace, dignity, and the utmost respect for both the United States and those to whom he represented it. His career in the foreign service spanned the region, including posts in Jerusalem, Damascus, and Riyadh. Before being appointed Ambassador to Libya, he served as Deputy Cheif of Mission when the United States reopened its Libyan embassy in 2007 and later as Special Representative to the National Transitional Council. The United States has lost a kind, brilliant, and empathetic public servant.

The Islamic Speakers Bureau of Dallas/Fort Worth ISB-DFW issued a statement:

Islamic Speakers Bureau-DFW condemns in the strongest possible terms the extremist attacks on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday, September 11th, one of which killed U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stephens along with three of his staff members. The parties responsible for these events in both nations claimed to be reacting to an online film considered offensive to Islam.

As with previous instances of the Danish cartoons or Qur’an burning, it is important to emphasize that it is a greater defamation of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’an to react with violence and murder of innocent people– one of the greatest sins in Islam–than any claimed insult from an Islamophobic film. Those who responded in such a manner should instead study the Prophet Muhammad’s example in the face of harm. On a daily basis, Muhammad was exposed to demeaning abuse for 13 years during the early years of his mission. His response was not to return insult for insult or hurt for hurt, but to pray for his persecutors and overlook their insults. In a famous Islamic tradition, he stated: “It is not allowed to cause harm to others or to return harm for harm.”

It is also an Islamic principle that one does not blame or punish another for the crimes of another. The employees at the embassies were in no way responsible for the actions of either Terry Jones or the producers of the film. Such extreme responses, in fact, can only help Islamophobic interests. Such actions and reactions are but a useless cycle of hate that benefit no one and as occurred yesterday, can be potentially dangerous and even deadly. ...

Dr. Laila Bugaighis, Chair of the Libyan National Protection Against Violence Committee issued a statement

We the citizens of Benghazi denounce the barbaric actions of attacking diplomatic delegations of all countries, and above all, those of the countries that stood by us and helped us win our war against the terror of the previous regime.

What happened in Benghazi yesterday is shamefully horrible, but should not be misinterpreted. There is never an excuse to barbaric action. Those who claim it was stirred by some silly movie that attacks the Prophet of Islam are just trying to find an excuse for selfish violence. Those who think the American Consulate was targeted are also mistaken. Benghazi will never forget what the American Government did for us, and their humanitarian stand with the Libyan people is something that can only inspire gratitude.

Benghazi was the cradle of a revolution against barbarism, violence and abuse. It was a revolution to bring forth dignity, justice, and democracy. Those people who do not want Libya to prosper, and do not want to see democracy, and who are against humanity and civility will keep on committing their acts of injustice and inhumanity to ruin the dreams and achievements of honest Libyans.

Islam does not need any one to defend it. It is a holy religion that brought upon it one of the greatest civilizations that ever existed, and remained for centuries thereafter, and will not be smeared by hateful propaganda, nor should such violent acts be related to Islam, for Islam is a religion that teaches tolerance, humanity, forgiveness and is above all kinds of superficiality.

The government should immediately take strict and serious actions against such barbaric acts, and those who are responsible for security in Benghazi should resign. They failed, not once and not twice, to keep Benghazi safe, and if they remain in their positions Benghazi will be unsafe for its own people, let alone for foreign guests. There is no excuse for violence in our cities any more.

Chris Stevens was a brave man. He remained with us in Benghazi when all others fled during the war, he connected with our people, he did his best to help our civil society prosper and grow, promoting several cultural and educational programs, and he showed us what tolerance means. He certainly did not deserve to die this way, even if no one meant to hurt him personally, the consequence of the action touched him and his family and his friends. Our deepest condolences go to Chris’s family and his friends, and to the families and friends of his fallen countrymen who died in Benghazi.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (AA-ADC) issued a statement:

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemns the brutal attack on the U.S. Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi that erupted during protests last night. Four Americans were killed in the attack, among them the U.S. Envoy to Libya, Ambassador J Christopher Stevens.

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 yesterday. The film is highly insulting to the religious sentiments of Muslims.

While ADC is committed to the right enshrined in our nation’s Constitution of free speech, there is no question that 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.

ADC extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of those killed; and urges Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world to always react with reason, not anger, against any ignorant attack on Islam.

The Niagra Foundation issued a statement:

The Niagara Foundation condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the mindless and brutal attack of a mob of extremists against the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Libya. We abhor and deeply mourn the resulting deaths of four American civil servants, including the widely respected U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.

As an organization founded by Muslims and inspired by the teachings of M. Fethullah Gulen, we feel a profound sense of revulsion and betrayal whenever even a few people claiming to be Muslims become so misguided that they fail to realize that, by engaging in acts of violence against innocent fellow human beings, it is they who are disgracing the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, far more than the hateful and equally misguided people who seek to incite violence by denigrating, in the crudest and most provocative of ways, what is sacred to others.

In the immediate aftermath of the eleventh anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those whose lives were lost in Libya, as well as the victims of violence in other places in the world where ignorance and fear blind people to the divine gift of our common humanity.

As an organization dedicated to intercultural and interfaith understanding and collaboration for the sake of the human family, tragic events such as this can only strengthen our resolve to continue our work laying the foundation for a more just and peaceful future through the cultivation of relationships of mutual understanding and respect among people of different cultures and faiths.

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) released a statement

“ICNA strongly condemns the violent attacks on American embassies in Egypt and Libya. Nothing is worth the cost of a human life, and we firmly believe that there is no honor or faith in committing such violence.  We extend our deepest condolences to the families of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the other three American personnel at this tragic time. Today we lost a diplomat and friend to the people of Libya; we commend him and U.S. envoys in Libya and elsewhere for their dedication to peace.

We are disturbed that the perpetrators of these attacks are claiming to defend the Prophet Muhammad’s honor. The Prophet was a man of peace and mercy; to engage in such violence and senseless killing is to truly defile his legacy. We implore Muslims in the region and around the world to remember the Prophet’s teachings and honor his life by following his example of kindness and love in the face of hostility.

We appeal 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.

We also appeal 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.”

Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) issued a statement

MPV reiterates our position on free speech and condemns violence and murder as a response to disagreement or offence.  MPV reiterates its position on free speech and condemns the violence being committed by extremists in reaction to a video they believe insults Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

We send our sincere condolences to the family of US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and all the Americans who were killed in Benghazi.  We support President Obama’s statement that he will work with the Libyan government to bring the perpetrators to justice and note his acknowledgment that Libyans fought to protect the Americans at the embassy and worked hard to save them.

As Muslims, we revere Prophet Mohammad as a figure of hope, guidance, and leadership and, above all, as an example.  During his lifetime, Prophet Mohammad faced direct persecution and yet never responded in a violent way. In fact, in a well known narration, there was a woman in Mecca who would dump refuse at his door, lay thorns in his path and even poured dung on his head while Mohammad was praying. He never responded with anger or violence. To the contrary, when he noticed the absence of this woman who would torment him he visited her home to find that she was sick and wished her well.

Contrast the above example of our revered Prophet with the actions of extremists today and it is clear the violence being committed by them is contrary to his example and un-Islamic.

MPV upholds the principle of free speech, whether political, artistic, social or religious, even when that expression may be offensive and that dissent may be considered blasphemous.  MPV holds that none should be legally prosecuted, imprisoned or detained for declaring or promoting unpopular opinions.

Dr Esam Omeish,  Director, Libyan Emergency Task Force, Political Director, Libyan Council of North America, Vice Chair, American Libyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a statement on behalf of the American Libyan community:

As members of the Libyan American community, we are utterly shocked and saddened by the brutal killing of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and members of his staff in Libya. Our deepest and most heart-felt condolences go to the families and friends of the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his colleagues. We share with the American people and our administration the sadness of these tragic events and reaffirm our commitment and resolve to stand against violent extremism under any circumstance and in whatever context.

Many of us have known personally the late honorable Stevens and know him as a man of honor, dedication and commitment to the progress of Libya and the freedom of the Libyan people. I have had the honor to attend his inauguration at the State Department a few months ago with Secretary Clinton and Senator Lugar. I also have attended a private reception in Washington with his lovely family and parents and along with other colleagues worked with the late Ambassador to brief him on Libyan affairs prior to his dispatch to Tripoli. I just came from Libya and had a great meeting with the late Ambassador in Tripoli at the US embassy. We discussed the Libyan nascent democracy and I enjoyed his optimism and zeal to help the Libyan people attain their aspiration and build a robust Libyan American partnership.

This is a sad day for Libyan American friendship, but these colossal events will not detract us nor deter us from pursuing a brighter future of freedom, rule of law and respect of human dignity in Libya in partnership with our great ally in the United States and the Obama administration. We call upon the Libyan government and the political leadership to take firm and swift action to bring the savage perpetrators to justice and to affirm the will of the Libyan people to resolve the security threats and uncontrolled militias that are threatening the future of democracy and peace in Libya.

The Seattle Libyan American Community issued a statement:

The Seattle Libyan American community strongly condemns the outrageous and barbaric attack on the American consulate and its diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, which took the lives of four Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith and two U.S. Marines.

As Libyan Americans, we are very saddened that the horrific actions of a few have spoken so loudly. We do not agree with the proceedings that took those four lives and our thoughts and prayers are with the family members now. At this point, we should not be arguing about a revolution, religion or a movie, but instead send healing thoughts to the children growing up without fathers and wives growing old without husbands.

Ambassador Stevens worked tirelessly in support of freedom in Libya and truly believed in this fight for liberty from the tyranny of its dictator, Mommar Gaddafi. He was appointed to the National Transitional Council of Libya as a Special Representative and then continued on in his role as U.S. Ambassador, with a determination to help the Libyan people achieve independence and democracy that they fought so hard and long for during the revolution.

Our prayers go out to his family, including his sister Anne Stevens, a doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and to the families of the others that were cut short by this senseless act on September 11, 2012.

The Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA) issued a statement:

The Universal Muslim Association of America strongly condemns the attacks on the United States Embassies in Cairo, Eypt, Benghazi, Libya, and Sanaa, Yemen. Further, we condemn the murder of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and that of his staff members. No legitimate goal can ever be accomplished by harming innocent people, and no such behavior can ever be tolerated by the Holy Religion of Islam.  We call upon the people of Egypt, Libya, and Yemen to take proactive measures to prevent violence and ensure that such actions can never happen again.

These riots are believed to be the result of an anti-Islam video created in the United States, which while derogatory and insulting, do not justify the harming of innocents. In the Holy Quran, God says that evil must be met with good deeds:

“The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity will become as though he was a near friend.” (Chapter 41, Verse 34).

The Universal Muslim Association of America condemns all acts of terrorism as deplorable crimes against humanity, as they are completely reprehensible, and there is no legitimate reason for them to occur. Islam is a religion that advocates peace and tranquility amongst all peoples, and for any innocent individual to be harmed, is completely against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

Islam, as taught by the Holy Prophet and his family, strongly advocates peaceful dialogue and discussion and rejects wanton violence against innocents. Further, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May God Bless Him) condemned all forms of terrorism against all people. The individuals who perpetrated this attack blatantly acted against the teachings of Islam and humanity.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) issued a statement:

The MCB calls on all parties to halt violence sparked by outrage at a video trailer of a disgraceful film mocking the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Such violence led to the death of US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, yesterday – the 9/11 anniversary – following the release of a trailer for a video mocking the life of Islam’s most holy figure. Crowds also stormed the US embassy grounds in Cairo, where they burned the US flag.

“The violence we saw is not in keeping with the teachings of the Prophet, whose honour these people wish to defend. Those who carried out these attacks are in a minority and do not speak for Muslims, or our faith. The death of the US ambassador to Libya is a deep tragedy, particularly as the country is taking its first steps towards democratic transition following the overthrow of dictatorship last year. Whilst this in no way justifies these attacks, the film-maker responsible for this defamatory video mocking Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, should be ashamed of his actions. That Pastor Terry Jones, the so-called Qu’ran burner, in Florida should also be promoting this film is deeply worrying.”

“We urge that such vile actions of a few on both sides must not be allowed to create divisions. Understanding, mutual respect and peaceful dialogue must prevail. We hope that others will join us in condemning both the violence in Egypt and Libya, and the irresponsible actions of the film’s Israeli-American producer.”

Finnish Muslim leaders issued a statement

Muslim and Catholic leaders in Michigan condemned the violence and the film.

— Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad Defend the Prophet (SAWS) by following His Way, not by Following Our Emotions and To the Muslim Protesters & Demonstrators Against the Negative Film About the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)
— Sheikh Akeel al-Maktiry,  Scholars Association of Yemen
— Sheikh Mahmood al-Masry, Egypt
— Shaikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Egypt
— Sheikh Dr. Aaidh al-Qarni, Saudi Arabia
— Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn: Violence not what Islam preaches, Niraj Warikoo|head
— Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah,  Mauritanian cleric, based in Saudi Arabia
— Shaykh Jamaal Diwan of the Islamic Center of Irvine, California Libya, Egypt, and the Denigration of Religious Beliefs
— Rached Ghannouchi, of Ehnnada in Tunisia vows to crack down on Salafists
— Sheikh Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Egypt Violence is never an acceptable answer to provocation
— Aboobacker Musliyar, an Indian scholar from Kerala condemned the violence over anti-Islam film
— Sheikh Yasir Qadhi said: “Clerics and leaders who instigate Muslims to ‘defend the honor of the Prophet (saw)’ by attacking people who have nothing to do with insulting his honor, actually disrespect the memory of our Prophet (saw).”
— Sheikh Faraz Rabbani
— Tariq Ramadan An appeal to the conscience of Muslims
— Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, U.S.

A Condemnation of the Murders in Libya, Hasan Zillur Rahim 
A Muslim’s prayer on the anniversary of 9/11, Omid Safi
America and the Muslims, Esam Al-Amin
An Appeal to the Conscience of Muslims, Tariq Ramadan
An orgy of cynicism, Hussein Ibish
Anti-Islam video does not represent Coptic community, H.A. Hellyer
Anti-Muslim Extremist Video Calls for Counter-narrative by Mainstream Americans, Sahar Aziz
Are Muslims Nuts?, Haroon Moghul
Cairo and Benghazi Attacks: Addressing the Deeper Problem, Omar Baddar,b=facebook
California Muslims hold vigil for slain ambassador
Defend the Prophet (SAWS) by following His Way, not by Following Our Emotions, Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad
Demonstrating for dignity: why are Muslims SO enraged?, Myriam Francois-Cerrah
Egyptian Muslims, Copts in NJ show unity[]
Embassy Attacks in Egypt, Tunisia Could Marginalize Extremists, Nader Habibi
Ending the radicalization spiral after the tragedy in Libya, H.A. Hellyer
Extremist Christians Produce Anti-Muslim Film Blame Jews, Sheila Musaji
Lupe Fiasco counters anti-Islam video in a series of tweets
Finnish Muslims condemn both anti-Muhammed movie and the violence it has spawned
How Should Muslims React to Mocking of Muhammad?, Muslim Matters
How would Prophet Muhammad respond to the anti-Muhammad “film”?, Omid Safi
In Crisis, Romney Reveals Neo-Con Tendencies, James Zogby
In Memoriam of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and the Foreign Service officers, MPAC
Islamism’s turning point: Violent extremism is the antithesis of the Arab Spring, but how we handle the current crisis will decide its future Tariq Ramadan
Libyans protesting in Benghazi: Images You Won’t See in the Media, Sheila Musaji
Looking at Libya, and at Ourselves, Hussein Rashid
The Mercy of Prophet Muhammad, Kamran Pasha
Moderates in West must raise their voices: Haroon Siddiqui, Haroon Siddiqui—column-moderates-in-west-must-raise-their-voices-haroon-siddiqui
Muslim, Arab, & Interfaith Organizations Condemn Attacks on U.S. Embassies (TAM collection of statements)
Muslim and Catholic leaders in Michigan condemn violence and film
Muslim Mobs Insult Muhammad’s Legacy, Dr. David Liepert
Muslims, You’ve Got a Great Deal of Work to Do, Ahmed Younis
PSA: To my fellow Muslims in Libya, Egypt, and the world…Grow up!, Robert Salaam
—Tariq Ramadan, Islamic Scholar on the Growing Mideast Protests and “Islam & the Arab Awakening”
— Rep. Keith Ellison on Meet the Press
— Arsalan Iftikhar on CNN
— Muqtedar Khan on Radio France
Reactions to the Anti-Muslim Film: It is Now Time To Grow Up, Sami Moubayed
Speaking out because I must, Nancy Shehata
The Tragic Consequences of Extremism, Sheila Musaji
Tragic Violence in Libya: No Excuse for Perpetrators—or for Provocateurs, Haroon Moghul
U.S. Muslims are not measured by the exemplary work of its mainstream, Jihad Turk and Salam Al-Marayati
US Muslim Leaders Condemn Violent Protests in Libya, Egypt
Violent protests are the true insult to Islam, Palestine Note
We Muslims must be dignified despite anti-Islamic propaganda, Mohammed Bari
What Was Really Behind the Benghazi Attack?, Hisham Matar
What’s Behind the US Embassy Protests in Egypt, Sharif Abdel Kouddous
When free speech costs human life, Qasim Rashid
When righteous indignation is not righteous at all, Khaled Hamid
Who are the real players behind anti-Muslim film?, Sheila Musaji
Why Are Muslims So Concerned with Muhammad?, Haroon Moghul


Imam Malik Mujahid, Chairperson of the Board of the Council for the Parliament of the World Religions (, said today that the Prophet Muhammad would be dismayed by the violence currently raging in Egypt and Libya in his name. He also called for a deeper look at the Islamophobia that instigated the tragedy.

“The Prophet would be saddened to know that three guest diplomats were killed by those who claim to be his followers in Libya,” he said. “The Prophet honored diplomats to such a level that he pitched a tent in his own small mosque so that a visiting Christian delegation from Yemen could hold services.”

Christopher Stephens, the American ambassador to Libya has been killed, along with three other Americans and a number of Libyans; the consulate has been seriously damaged, and the violence at this writing seems to be far from abating.

This was all instigated by a movie produced by a self-described Israeli Jewish filmmaker, who has admitted that his intention was to provoke and said, “Islam is a cancer, period.” It portrays Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, among other insults.

Imam Mujahid noted that this has become an unfortunately predictable pattern in recent years. A vicious cycle of hate is perpetuated by Islamophobes who produce material insulting Islam and Muslims, followed by violence on the part of extremists.  “This pattern has its roots in the colonial period, when some missionaries funded by the occupying armies would engage in this psychological warfare with their population,” Imam Mujahid said.

Imam Mujahid invited faith leaders from the Jewish and Christian community to condemn the incident as well as the hate speech that facilitated this latest violence. He emphasized the need to root out extremism in all communities, and emphasized the need for a discussion on why hate speech directed at Prophet Muhammad is tolerated when similar attacks would be rightfully condemned against other communities.

The Islamic Society of North America held a press conference to condemn the murder of U.S. diplomats in Libya and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.  ISNA President Imam Magid was joined by senior religious leaders and Libyan Ambassador Ali Suleiman Aujali, who together mourned the loss of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and other Americans.  Imam Magid delivered this statement:

“The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) unequivocally condemns the killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, and his staff and condemns the attack on US Embassy in Cairo. Reports indicate that those who killed him did so as a reaction to a video depicting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a profane manner. Although we believe that this video is hateful and bigoted, this could never be an excuse to commit any acts of violence whatsoever. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is loved and respected by hundreds of millions of people across the world, and no one take this from our hearts. 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.”

Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism added: “This loss of life in this manner is an affront to values of humanity and tolerance that are the core of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  I also stand here today to condemn the video that apparently spurred these incidents.  While we defend the right to free speech, even repugnant speech, these kinds of messages on the internet are so clearly crafted to provoke, to offend, to evoke outrage.  The denigration of religion, the mocking of religious leaders, the intentional framing of religious texts and tenets in this manner must be repudiated by all religious leaders.”

Rev. Dr. Welton C. Gaddy of Interfaith Alliance, spoke on a personal note: “I am embarrassed and ashamed that the Christian religion has been associated with an act as hateful as that of releasing a film intended to incite violence and even to cause the deaths of innocent people.  It is a form of rhetorical hate crime.  It has no place in our democracy or in Christianity.  And for one person to endorse a film and to commend it to the world bearing the name of Christ, that causes this kind of loss and violence and division, is wrong.  The Christian religion is about peace, just as Judaism, just as Islam.  And I want to say for all of you to hear, that in the name of Christianity, I condemn the promotion of that kind of hatred and weep over the kind of deadly consequences it has provoked.”

The Coptic Orthodox Church, Diocese of Los Angeles issued a statement

We strongly condemn the brutal murder of the United States ambassador to Libya and three of the embassy employees. In order for peace to reign throughout the world, brutality and hatred must be swiftly condemned and punished.

Hope must be brought to desperate places, kindness and mercy must be given a chance. However, hope will not thrive in the midst of hatred and violence. Therefore, those who are responsible for this brutal act must be brought to justice in order to give hope a chance.

We keep the families of the ambassador and murdered staff in our prayers as well as offering the families our heart felt condolences.

Furthermore, the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California & Hawaii strongly rejects dragging the respectable Copts of the Diaspora in the latest production of an inflammatory movie about the prophet of Islam. The producers of this movie should be responsible for their actions. The name of our blessed parishioners should not be associated with the efforts of individuals who have ulterior motives.

Copts across the Diaspora never participated in any humiliation or violence against those who often persecute Christians. It is not the Christian way to respond to hatred with hate. Christianity prohibits a Christian from such acts. If burning the Holy Bible is wrong, then burning any book revered or respected by others is equally wrong. Holistically blaming the Copts for the production of this movie is equivalent to holistically blaming Muslims for the actions of a few fanatics. Even though Christians often face persecution, injustice and calls for open attacks over the airwaves, we reject violence in all its forms.  We call on everyone from all religions to respect the freedom of individuals to choose their faith.

Dr. Maher Hathout, senior advisor for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and Bishop Serapion, head of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles issued a statement.  “The actions of a few ignorant individuals do not represent the collective Diaspora Cops, nor do they represent the collective Muslim community,” Bishop Serapion said. The two leaders issued a joint statement that they “collectively condemn desecration directed at any religion, namely in the form of the anti-Islam film ‘Innocence of Muslims.’”

Bishop Serapion of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles along with Fathers Fellimon Mikhael, Bishoy Kamel, Joseph Boulos and Gregory Bishay met with the Islamic Shura Council.

The meeting was convened at the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove. Welcoming the Coptic leadership, the Chairman of the Islamic Shura Council,  Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi said, “Muslims appreciate your visit and I welcome you on their behalf. Our pulpits must preach and practice deeper respect for all that is sacred. And this we must do urgently and more frequently for our respective communities.”

The Coptic Diocese and the Islamic Shura Council have been in constant conversation since last week but because of logistics, the meeting took place on Wednesday the 19th of September. The leaders focused on understanding the “underlying reasons and root causes” for expressions of hate and agreed that this malaise exists primarily because of lack of information and misinformation. They also acknowledged the danger that lies in some special interest groups and some people with special interests who deliberately attempt to stoke fear and hatred as seems to be the case in the production of the movie: The Innocence of Muslims.

Bishop Serapion, spiritual head of 30 churches of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles reaffirmed his “unconditional condemnation of the movie and his respect for Islam and all its symbols, including Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and reiterated the fact that “the ill action of a member of his community is neither reflective of the rich Coptic tradition nor the peaceful Coptic community at large.” And he added that “no person can claim to be upholding their faith, be they clergy or laity, if they do not respect others as they would like to be respected.”

Both, the Coptic Orthodox Diocese and the Islamic Shura Council leadership mutually agreed to ask their Imams and Priests to lead their Mosques and Churches for increased communication and for greater understanding. In addition, both communities agreed to also initiate educational programs to foster enhanced understanding and deeper respect. Bishop Serapion welcomed the idea of Open Mosque Day (Sunday, October 7th) and assured its promotion in his Diocese.

Christina Warner, campaign director of Shoulder-to-Shoulder:// Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values issued a statement:

We are shocked and deeply saddened at the violent riots and attack in Egypt and Libya. As interfaith leaders, we offer our deepest condolences and prayers for Ambassador Chris Stevens’ family and the families of the others who lost their lives in the horrific attack in Libya.

There is no justification for yesterday’s tragic violence and we stand shoulder-to-shoulder, reiterating that the acts of a group of people who promote violence in the name of any religion only perpetuate a cycle of fear and intolerance. Such actions do not accurately reflect the majority of any faith tradition.

As religious leaders, our members have worked for years to form interfaith partnerships that rest in our respective traditions’ imperatives to love our neighbors.  It is this work that defines the vast majority of religious practice in the United States, and we will not be defined by those in our midst who would demean the central figure in Islam, whose followers have strengthened our country and our interfaith efforts.

We call on our religious leaders across the country to stand with us to demonstrate that discrimination, hatred and violence is not a part of who we are.  In our mourning – for the lives lost to violence in the name of religion, and for the degradation of a great figure and great faith tradition – we must work together for healing.

Nancy K. Kaufman of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) issued a statement:

“NCJW condemns the attack on the US consulate in Libya that resulted in the death of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other members of the US diplomatic staff. While not all the details of the attack are known at this time, there is no possible justification for such violence.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of those lost. We call upon those of good will around the world to reaffirm the imperative that differences in religious and moral beliefs are not grounds for violence or loss of life, just as we insist that every person is entitled to enjoy fundamental human rights and dignity. At the same time we find deliberate insults to the religious beliefs of others to be odious impediments to efforts to reach an understanding across borders and faith traditions of our common humanity.”

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism issued a statement:

In response to the recent violence in Egypt and Libya, and the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US embassy staff, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

I am saddened and appalled this morning to learn of the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three members of the U.S. consulate staff in Benghazi. I offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of those killed. This act of violence, and the similarly threatening violence at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, must be condemned unequivocally. The losses of life in this manner are an affront to the values of humanity and tolerance that are at the core of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

I also stand here today to condemn the video that apparently spurred these incidents. It was clearly crafted to provoke, to offend, and to evoke outrage.  The denigration of religion and religious figures and the intentional framing of religious texts and tenets in this manner must likewise be condemned.

The video and the views it espouses do not reflect the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans and people of faith. It is, purely and simply, a creation of those on the fringes of American society whether they are Christians or Jews or Muslims. I appeal to the religious leaders and to the media in the Muslim world to make that message clear and help bring an end to the violence before further tragedy occurs. Two years ago, it was Evangelical leaders who persuaded Terry Jones from burning the Koran. And it was the leaders of all the major religions in America that expressed universal condemnation of such religious hatred – in that case as now, anti-Muslim hatred.

We must oppose efforts to divide people – in the United States, in Egypt, Libya and around the world - along religious lines. Small violent groups of extremists, no matter their religious identity, cannot be allowed to define their religions or their nations. Instead, let us lift up those who appeal to the best in humanity, those who seek to build bridges over longstanding divides, and those who speak the language of peace and tolerance.

A San Diego Interfaith Group, Imam Taha Hassene of the Islamic Center of San Diego, Bishop James Mathes of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego and Rabbi Laurie Coskey of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice issued a statement

“As spiritual leaders from different faith traditions, we stand together and condemn this wanton denigration of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the Qur’a.  ... “At the same time, we must likewise join spiritual leaders around the planet and condemn the vicious reaction to this film,” the statement says. “We can understand the anger that faithful Muslims feel, but we cannot justify the violent response resulting in loss of life and destruction of property.”

The Global Muslim Jewish Friendship Forum issued a statement

The Global Muslim and Jewish Friendship Forum (GMJFF) strongly condemns the recent spate of violence in response to the release of the online film “Innocence of Muslims” in Libya, Egypt and Yemen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his three colleagues who lost their lives in the attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya this past week. Purposefully denigrating the beliefs of a community and inciting hate towards a religious group is morally reprehensible, but does not justify the senseless violence witnessed in Libya and elsewhere. These assaults are not about Muslims against non-Muslims, the Arab world against Americans, or even Libyans against the United States. They are about disrespect, intolerance, and mindless brutality. 

For too long, violence and suspicion have been the hallmarks of relations between the Muslim world and the West. Nothing positive can emerge from this perpetual cycle of hatred.  We at the GMJFF are committed to breaking down the barriers that prevent people from seeing each other as individuals rather than as representatives of a certain country, ethnic, or religious group. Our members are Jewish and Muslim and come from more than 60 countries and seven continents. Our backgrounds have led us to view world events through different perspectives; sometimes radically so. But we all share a disgust towards any psychological or physical attacks perpetrated in the name of religion. Basic human concepts such as respect, tolerance, and non-violence know no religion, ethnicity, or nationality. We must continue to stand together and speak out against those who justify the use of violence in the name of religion and those to seek to incite hate towards religious communities. 

Right now, GMJFF Jews, like Jews around world, are celebrating Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. They are reflecting on and asking forgiveness for the year that has past and hoping the next year will be a sweet one. During this sacred time, it is worthwhile for us all to think about the harm that has been perpetrated and focus on what each of us can do to begin to mend the deep damage that has been done.

SEE ALSO:  The Tragic Consequences of Extremism for a complete background on this entire tragedy with an extensive article collection and links

Loonwatch has put together a series of images from Libya titled Libyans Protest and Condemn Attack on US Consulate in Benghazi that shows many ordinary Libyans carrying handmade signs decrying the violence and expressing sorrow over the deaths. 

TAM article collection “Innocence of Muslims”: Film and International Crisis - includes a section on Muslim and Arab responses