I UNEQUIVOCALLY DENOUNCE THE FILM “INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS” AS AN EVANGELICAL PASTOR FROM THE US
I UNEQUIVOCALLY DENOUNCE THE FILM “INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS” AS AN EVANGELICAL PASTOR FROM THE UNITED STATES
To my Muslim friends in the United States and around the world, especially to those I have personally met in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Kurdistan, Serbia, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Malaysia, Kenya, and Somalia:
Often times in the United States there has been a call on the Muslim community to quickly condemn violence against Christians around the world – and there should be. Once again, violence is taking place that is dangerous and hurting many innocent people – even some who are trying to bridge the chasm between Muslims, Christians, and the West.
Here are quotes from key Islamic leaders condemning that violence:
“You don’t show loyalty [to the prophet], by going to embassies and pelting them with stones, or setting it on fire and killing the ambassador and those with him. This isn’t what we are supposed to say. America as a nation is not behind this.”
Yusuf al-Qaradawi – Friday sermon
“It is not permissible to kill ambassadors, covenanters, those in our protection, or tourists in the name of defending the prophet peace be upon him, because that is a crime unsanctioned by Islam and contributes to the distortion of the image of Muslims.”
Sheikh Dr. Aaidh al-Qarni – tweeted by prominent Saudi cleric
“I call on you not to attack a soul, not to destroy property, not assault embassies, and don’t violate the values you are defending. Attacking innocents and killing of diplomats and ambassadors is a violation of religion before it is a violation of protocol.”
Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah – Prominent Mauritanian cleric, based in Saudi Arabia
“We repudiate this heinous act and every criminal destructive act which are not from the teachings of our great religion.”
Sheikh Mahmood al-Masry – prominent Egyptian cleric
“What is happening around the American Embassy of clashes with police and burning of police cars is an act not sanctioned by the law of God, and has nothing to do with the defending our prophet peace be upon him.”
Sheikh Mahmood Jabir – prominent Egyptian cleric
Prominent Saudi cleric, Salman al-Ouda, appeared on Al-Jazeera and MBC TV calling for “normal civil responses” through peaceful protests, rallies, conferences, seminars, or discussions. He warned against “methods that relay on killing and targeting others” giving examples of how the prophet protected envoys.
Speaking to Yemen’s Akhbar Al-Youm, Sheikh Akeel al-Maktiry, member of the Scholars Association of Yemen, considered the storming of the American Embassy in Sana’a an act of vandalism that does not relate to peace protests, saying “organizing peaceful rallies to the gate of the American Embassy is a legitimate act, but to break into the embassy is an act that contradicts the protests over the insult of the prophet peace be upon him… I’m afraid there are infiltrators [in the protests], especially those chanting “death to America.. death to Israel,” adding that the revolutionary youth would never do such a despicable thing.
Evangelicals must soundly denounce the film “The Innocence of Muslims”.
I’m grateful to be in a country that believes in our bill of rights, the first amendment being freedom of religion, and also in that same amendment following, freedom of speech. Just because someone has the right of free speech doesn’t mean them exercising that right makes that speech right, profitable, or to the building up of the community. To debate ideas, disagree, challenge one another – is absolutely critical. To try to incite riot, war, along with civil and global unrest is wrong. There is a “clear and present danger” the US courts have ruled in regard to freedom of speech – I think that has to extend globally.
I am a Christian, not a Muslim. I have serious fundamental differences in my faith and yours. I believe Jesus was and is God. I believe he did die on the cross for the sins of mankind and was resurrected from the dead so that all men may be forgiven. I believe mercy is granted based on Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross – not my effort to tip the scales in my favor. My best efforts will never be that good. I am a passionate follower of Jesus and a student of the Bible. Nowhere did Jesus, Paul, Peter or other leaders treat people of other faiths who were of different religions in this manner. They did however call out the fakes and phonies in their own movement.
I watched the trailer and part of the movie “Innocence of Muslims” and it was not consistent in the least with the Koran. It was cheaply produced, and made to provoke and enrage people. The movie is done with such poor production quality that no one would watch it without the attention it is now receiving on the international stage.
My sincerest apologies to my Muslim friends who may think all American Christians would endorse such a film – we do not – we repudiate it and we are very saddened by it.
Thank you, Muslim leaders, for taking a stand against the violence happening in parts of the world over the film. I’m saddened that most Americans know only the Muslims they see on TV and not the ones I’ve come to know here in the U.S. and globally. Though we disagree in our faith – we don’t in matters of civility and humanity.
Bob Roberts, Jr.
Bob is the founder, senior leader, and chief spokesman for Glocal.net . His primary focus is to connect leaders and estabish relationships to explore transformation. Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobrobertsjr.