Muslim Religious leaders and interfaith partners participated in a press conference to address the new Islamophobic movie that followed with the tragic deaths of four American diplomats and many other innocent individuals.
Saturday, September 15, 2012- Statement Released by Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi
Imam Elahi welcomed participating Imams, members of interfaith clergy, community members and media representatives.
We are here this morning to stand united against extremism under any name or excuse!
For some people to abuse freedom of speech in this country by demonstrating hate, intolerance, defaming another faith and dehumanizing another community, it is absolutely against all faiths and American values of respect and tolerance.
The recent Islamophobic movie is an uncivilized, irresponsible, irrational, and immoral outreach to the Muslim world. To accuse, insult and attack a leader who is holy to at least 1.5 billion of the population of this planet and is honored and remembered in prayer at least 5 times a day is absolutely wrong.
Those who intentionally participated in the making of this movie are not only enemies of Islam, but enemies of American values, interests and security.
Anyone who may have any problem with the Islamic history or teachings is welcomed and encouraged to sit down and have a dialogue and dispute on this. Islam is religion of reason and love and its light can't be turned off through these hateful expressions.
At the same time we have a serious problem with some of the reactions from the Islamic world, especially from the violent response in Libya that caused the tragic death of 4 American diplomats in Benghazi.
That kind of reaction was not only against America but against Islam as well. There is no justification for attacking the innocent individuals while even the US president and Secretary of State condemned the movie and called it disgusting. That is unislamic and uncivilized too.
Freedom of assembly and demonstration is their right, to be upset for the painful content of the movie is understandable, but angry attacks, violence and bloodshed is unacceptable. That is extremism and against the teachings of the holy Quran that orders the faithful to answer evil with good.
We are here to condemn extremism in any religion and culture, to condemn the deaths of individuals to show solidarity with the families of all innocent victims.
We are here to promote building bridges of understanding, education and ethics. We are here to encourage working together to remove ignorance and arrogance from this world and to provide the light of love, justice and peace for all.
Extremism is wrong. From burning the Quran and making a movie to mock people, to reacting with violence and bloodshed is extremism.
Imam Elahi ended his words by thanking the Imams, Interfaith partners and the media for coming and for showing unity and solidarity at this time of tension and confusion.