CAIRO – Criticizing the inflammatory anti-Islam film, UK’s largest Muslim umbrella group called on Muslims worldwide to halt violent protests sparked by the film, urging protesters to keep with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).
“The violence we saw is not in keeping with the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), whose honor these people wish to defend,” Farooq Murad, chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said in a statement cited by Pakistan Daily Times on Friday, September 14.
“Those who carried out these attacks are in a minority and do not speak for Muslims, or our faith.”
Violent protests engulfed several Arab and Muslim counties over a US-made film insulting Prophet Muhammad.
Titled “Innocence of Muslims”, the film, set in the modern era, shows an Egyptian Coptic Christian fleeing from an angry Muslim mob. Egyptian police looked on while the mob smashed up a clinic where a Christian doctor worked.
Then it showed the doctor talking to his daughter about what makes an "Islamic terrorist".
After that, the clips shifted to historical scenes from the period of the Prophet, most of these were based on sets where the actors are clearly superimposed on a desert background.
In other scenes, the Prophet is portrayed as a bloodthirsty leader, encouraging his followers to loot places they attack and says they can use children in whatever way they wish.
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.
“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,” MCB chairman said.
MCB condemned the filmmakers whose defamatory video hurt the feelings of millions of Muslims worldwide.
“Whilst this in no way justifies these attacks, the film-maker responsible for this defamatory video should be ashamed of his actions,” Murad said in MCB statement.
“It is also deeply worrying that Pastor Terry Jones in Florida is promoting this film.”
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.
Rejecting violent protests, the chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain called for a peaceful dialogue capable of creating a common ground of understanding and overcoming divisions.
“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,” the MCB chairman said.
“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.”
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