CAIRO – Condemning assaults on US diplomatic missions in the Arab world, American Muslims have called on Muslims worldwide to follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) while protesting against a defamatory film.
“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.” the umbrella Islamic Society of North America said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net on Thursday, September 13.
“No one should fall into the trap of those who wish to incite anger.
|In the Prophet's Footsteps|
“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.”
Violent protests engulfed several Arab and Muslim counties over a US-made film insulting Prophet Muhammad.
In Egypt, more than 300 people were injured in days of clashes between protestors and security forces around the US embassy in Cairo.
Protestors also attacked the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi, an attack that left the US ambassador and three other diplomats dead.
"We condemn the disgraceful killings of the American diplomats in Libya in the strongest terms possible,” Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net on Thursday, September 13.
“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.”
Angry Yemeni protestors also stormed the heavily-fortified US embassy in Sanaa. Similar protests were also reported in Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan.
Produced and directed by an American-Israeli real-estate developer, the movie portrays the Prophet as a fool, philanderer and a religious fake.
The film was posted on YouTube in June but drew attention last week when an Egyptian-American Copt produced a trailer in an Arabic-language blog post and e-mail newsletter publicizing the movie.
The movie was promoted by US pastor Terry Jones, who angered Muslims in 2010 with plans to burn the Noble Qur’an.
Jones called the film a "satirical" movie on the life of the Muslim Prophet, saying he showed a promotional video trailer after staging a symbolic "trial" of the Prophet.
American leaders urged Muslims worldwide to follow the Prophet’s traditions while responding to insults.
"Islamic traditions include a number of instances in which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had the opportunity to retaliate against those who abused him, but refrained from doing so,” Awad said.
He cited a saying of the Prophet that encourages forgiveness and kindness to insults.
“You [Muhammad] do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.”
He also cited the example of the woman, who used to throw trash on the prophet as he walked down a particular path.
“The prophet never responded in kind to the woman's abuse. Instead, when she one day failed to attack him, he went to her home to inquire about her condition,” Awad said.
"In another tradition, the prophet was offered the opportunity to have God punish the people of a town near Mecca who refused the message of Islam and attacked him with stones. Again, the prophet did not choose to respond in kind to the abuse.”
American leaders called on Muslims to shy away from violence in order to avoid tarnishing the image of Islam.
“We must not let extremists control the political or religious discourse,” Awad said.“That 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.”
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