American Muslim leaders and organizations rushed on Wednesday to condemn the attacks on American diplomatic outposts in Libya and Egypt, issuing news releases and giving interviews that seemed aimed as much at an American audience as at Muslims overseas.
Referring to the anti-Muslim video at the center of the attacks that is believed to be American-made, they said that no matter how offensive the film, violence was unjustified and even un-Islamic. They stressed repeatedly that the film did not represent Americans’ attitudes toward Islam and Muslims. And they said they were appalled that a film that they said was so clearly intended to incite hatred and anger toward the United States had succeeded in doing so.
Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America, an umbrella group of American mosques, denounced the violence at a news conference in Washington, appearing alongside a rabbi, a Baptist minister and the Libyan ambassador to the United States, Ali Aujali.
Representative Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota and the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, said in a statement that the video at the center of the attacks was “amateurish and stupid” and “deeply offensive” — not just to Muslims, but to “anyone who respects the faith of others.”
Salam al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, an advocacy group based in Los Angeles, said in a statement: “America is our home and is home to Islam, like so many other religions. Anyone who attempts to promote the misconception that Muslims are not integrated into America is fomenting more fear and destructive behavior.”