American Muslims Respond to Attack on Anti-Islam Event in Texas - updated 5/13/15

American Muslims Respond to Attack on Anti-Islam Event in Texas

collected by Sheila Musaji

This will be updated as necessary.

MPAC Statement Bullets Against Cartoons are Bullets Against the Prophet:

Yesterday, two men identified as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, reportedly fired shots in Garland, Texas at a controversial cartoon contest showcasing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

“The actions of these two men denigrate the Prophet Muhammad more than any cartoon ever could,” said Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC President.  “The bullets used by the assailants were bullets against our faith.”

The North Texas Muslim community expressed concern in advance of the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest.” Texas Muslim leaders urged their community to ignore the hateful event and to show restraint against any kind of provocation. “As a Muslim community, we need to acknowledge hate groups and not get baited,” said Imam Zia ul-Haque Sheikh of the Islamic Center of Irving.

This event was clearly intended to offend and incite. Muslims, like people of all faiths, believe in responding to hate speech with reasoned words. The perpetrators of this shooting violated the principles of Islam by reacting to offensive caricatures of Prophet Muhammad with far worse actions - the intent to kill. Countering the hate of the organizers and attendees of the event with violence is reprehensible. There are numerous instances in the life of Prophet Muhammad where he continuously responded to insults and hatred with mercy and forgiveness, and sometimes just plain silence.

Insults against the Prophet are documented in the Quran, in which there is no mention of any punishment for defaming him. Instead, God mandates that we repel corruption with goodness: “Nor can goodness and evil be equal. Repel (evil) with what is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity (will become) as though he was a devoted friend.” (41:34)

ING Statement: In Response to Garland, Texas Attack, ING and Affiliates Re-Affirm Fundamental Values:

In response to the attack on an anti-Islam event yesterday in Garland, Texas, ING and its Affiliates nationwide join fellow Americans and American Muslims in reiterating that no words, insults, grievances, or beliefs justify such acts of violence. Responding to insults by those who seek to provoke serves only those who seek to defame Islam and Muslims.

It is significant to note that this event was a non-starter for the majority of people in the area, including local Muslims; nor was it a focus of protests or social media campaigns locally, nationally or globally. A light-hearted response by the brother of a recent victim of hate in fact focused upon the positive side of such events, while shining a light on Islamic principles that are not well known to the general public. In response to the attacks, The American Muslim is republishing its statement upholding freedom of speech signed by American Muslim religious leaders and activists.

We all have a choice about how to communicate and learn about other’s faiths, and we can do so in the pluralistic manner envisioned by our Founding Fathers, whose vision of religious liberty included Muslims. We invite all Americans to find constructive ways to learn and dialogue about each others’ faiths, including holding an interfaith event, organizing an interfaith service project, or opening your house of worship to other faiths.

At ING we invite you to participate in our upcoming events, review our religious principles below and discover answers to general Frequently Asked Questions About Islam and Muslims as well as Frequently Asked Questions about Sharia and ISIS.

We affirm and uphold the sanctity of all human life, the taking of which is among the gravest of all sins.
We affirm the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and speech.
We affirm the right to security in one’s livelihood, profession, and residence.
We believe that God created us with all the diversity of race, religion, language, and belief to get to know one another, not to despise or hate one another.
We believe that Islam is above all a religion of peace and mercy, and that Muslims are obligated to model those traits in their lives and characters and to work for the good of our homeland and society, wherever that might be.

CAIR Condemns Attack on Anti-Islam Event in Texas:

“We condemn yesterday’s attack on an anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas, without reservation.

“We also reiterate our view that violence in response to anti-Islam programs like the one in Garland is more insulting to our faith than any cartoon, however defamatory. Bigoted speech can never be an excuse for violence.

“Muslims in North Texas and across the nation are shocked and saddened by this inexcusable attack and pray for the speedy recovery of the officer injured by the attackers.

“We thank the Garland Police Department for its swift actions to ensure public safety.

“Unfortunately, human history shows us that hatred breeds more hatred and extremism leads to more extremism.

“Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Geert Wilders,  and the perpetrators of yesterday’s attack all seek to provoke a downward spiral of mutual hostility and mistrust in America and around the world.

“People of good will must work together to ensure that extremists of all faiths and backgrounds do not accomplish that malevolent goal.

“We reiterate the American Muslim community’s support for freedom of speech - even bigoted speech – and its repudiation of terrorism in any form.”




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