Leaders Join MPAC for Press Conference Condemning Embassy Attacks

September 13, 2012

Yesterday, MPAC along with Egyptian, Libyan and interfaith leaders stood together at a press conference to condemn the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya. See video of the press conference below.

SEE: "MPAC Press Conference on U.S. Embassy Attacks in Libya & Egypt" (Video - Vimeo.com)

ALSO SEE: Photo Album of the Press Conference (Flickr.com)

On Tuesday, Egyptians gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to protest the release of a low-budget movie on YouTube called “Muhammad,” which incited anger by depicting Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a demeaning and degrading manner. The next day, a protest in Libya escalated into an attack on the U.S. Embassy that led to the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who is the first ambassador to be killed since 1979. 

Dina Duella, a Libyan American and adjunct faculty at Chapman University, spoke at the press conference about the heartbreak Libyans feel over the Stevens death.

"Anyone who knew the late Ambassador Chris Stevens knew he was one of the greatest champions of the Libyan revolution," she said. "There are really no words to express how shameful these acts have been. These despicable attacks are the attacks of a few people and they are no way condoned by the vast majority of the Libyan people. This no way represents the religion of Islam, and this no way represents the Libyan people. There were some Libyans who died trying to save the ambassador and his staffers. Those Libyans who died are the true Muslims here and the true martyrs in this incident."

Each speaker condemned the heinous acts calling on all faiths to come together during this time of need and vigilance. 

"These events are a reminder that violence is a physical act and a rhetorical act. Words can be violent and can incite violence," said the Rev. Dr. Ryan Bell, pastor of the Hollywood Adventist Church. "These extremists are not people who take their faith seriously as the word extreme would indicate, but they are actually people who have a thin and minimalist approach to their faith. We as the faith community believe that as we take our faith more seriously we become more peaceful people and less violent people. Religion in not the problem in this situation, and religion is not the source of the violence. It is other agendas that are complex and overlapping." 

As American warships make their way to Libya today, President Barack Obama has vowed to bring to justice those responsible for the Benghazi attack, which U.S. officials said may have been planned in advance, possibly by an al Qaeda-linked group.

"We are here to say that our job now is to be re-doubled to bring the coexistence and the faiths back together," said Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC President. "Maybe we can help from America and have an impact on the Muslim world."

Join the conversation on Twitter by following #notoviolence.

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