(WASHINGTON) — The Council on American-Islami Relations (CAIR) and Muslim leaders in Washington Wednesday condemned the violence in Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
“We are shocked and outraged by the killing of the US Ambassador in Benghazi.” Said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “It is a crime against humanity.”
Awad addressed the possibility that the attack could have been spurned by the anti-Muslim movie demeaning the Prophet Muhammad circulating on the Internet. “It is a trashy film … it doesn’t even deserve our attention.” Awad said. “The prophet never returned an insult with an insult.”
“We should not play into the hands of the extremists here in this country or there.” Awad said. “We should rise above.”
Also speaking at the event was a friend of Ambassador Stevens, Esam Omeish, director of the Libyan Emergency Task Force. Omeish discussed recently meeting with Amb. Stevens at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and the pride Stevens had showing him the new visa section so that the embassy could help Libyans find more opportunities in the United States.
“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,” Omeish said.
Omeish said Stevens was a “man of honor, dedication and commitment to the progress of Libya and freedom of the Libyan people. … He was there. … I will surely miss him.”
CAIR communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, said that the Muslim community was not worried about reprisal attacks or an increase in hate crimes, but they were mindful of that possibility.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Steve Visser, CNN
Catherine E. Shoichet, Max Blau and Holly Yan, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN