Today, the Star Tribune published a thoughtful article on the local Muslim leadership reaction to the violence in response to the YouTube movie. Here is the full text of the statement that 17 Twin Cities Muslim leaders issued to the media.
MN Muslim Leaders Condemn Killings of American Diplomats
Saturday, 15 September 2012
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 9/14/12) – Minnesota Muslim leaders today condemned both the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and the attacks on diplomatic facilities and personnel in the Middle East.
“We strongly condemn the killings of the American diplomats in Libya” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya. “We offer our condolences to their families and stand with them in solidarity during this difficult time.”
Minnesota Muslim leaders said that the violence is not in accordance with Islam and does not represent Muslims.
“The Quran teaches us that if you kill one innocent person, it is as sinful as killing all of humanity,” said Northwest Islamic Community Center Vice-President Tamim Saidi. He also referred to a hadith, or tradition: 'You [Muhammad] do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.’
“Islam is a religion that calls for spiritual, emotional, and religious maturity,” said Masjid An Nur Imam Makram El-Amin. “It is unacceptable to lash out with violence against those whom we disagree with no matter the subject.”
Minnesota Muslim leaders said that promoting mutual understanding and engaging in dialogue is the best way to respond to anti-Muslim rhetoric.
“Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) entire life is meticulously documented to the minute detail,” said EngageMN Editor Fedwa Wazwaz. “No film or person can change that. His actions speak for himself.”
"I urge my fellow citizens to engage with their families, communities, and houses of worship to address words of bigotry or calls of violence, no matter the reason or religion,” said Islamic Resource Group Outreach and Interfaith Director Zafar Siddiqui. “Fear and anger betray our values as Americans."
The Minnesota Muslim community is estimated to be at least 150,000.
Majed Abusara, President, Al-Aqsa Institute
Abdisalam Adam, Board Chair, Islamic Civic Society of America
Makram Elamin, Imam, Masjid an Nur
Hyder Khan, Trustee, Indian American Muslim Council
Shah Khan, President, Islamic Center of Minnesota
Kazim Mehdi, President, Imam Hussein Islamic Center
Sameer Parmar, Outreach Coordinator, Ja'afari Islamic Center
Najam Qureshi, Chairman of the Board, Northwest Islamic Community Center
Mohamed Remtula, President, Anjuman e Asghari Jamaat
Abdi Sabrie, Executive Director, African Family & Education Center
Tamim Saidi, Vice-President, Northwest Islamic Community Center
Lori Saroya, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Minnesota
Hashi Shafi, Executive Director, Somali Action Alliance
Mallerie Shirley, Co-Founder, Global Deaf Muslims-MN Chapter
Zafar Siddiqui, Chairman of the Board, Al-Amal School
Onder Uluyol, President, Islamic Resource Group
Fedwa Wazwaz, Editor, EngageMN.com
CONTACT: Lori Saroya, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Minnesota, 612-327-6700, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org