(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/15/12) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today released a video appeal in Arabic to those protesting an anti-Islam film, portions of which have been circulating on the Internet.
In the video, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad tells viewers in the Middle East that ordinary Americans and the U.S. government should not be blamed for the religious hatred expressed in the film.
He explains that the low-quality production was designed to provoke religious sensitivities and to distract from the positive efforts being undertaken to improve newly-free societies in the wake of the Arab Spring.
Awad’s appeal notes that the controversy over the film distracts from more important issues such as the struggle for freedom in Syria, the need for justice for the Palestinian people and ongoing killings of Muslims in Burma.
[NOTE: In 2011, Awad was included on the "Power 500" list compiled by Arabian Business Magazine. In 2009, he was recognized among the world's "500 Most Influential Muslims" by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.]
He quoted a verse in the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, which states that no soul will carry the burdens of another and asked viewers to emulate Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, who did not retaliate in kind to personal abuse. He also urged protesters to put their energies into rebuilding their societies.
VIEW THE VIDEO:
Awad’s video appeal was filmed against a backdrop of a verse from the Quran, which states: “A goodly word (is) like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches (reach) to the heavens.” (14:24)
It ends with the recitation of a verse from the Quran: “You have indeed in the Messenger of God [Muhammad] a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in God and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of God.” (33:21)
Earlier this week, CAIR condemned the killings of American diplomats in Libya and said that extremists must not be allowed to control the political and religious discourse worldwide.
CAIR made that statement at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., at which representatives of CAIR and other Muslim organizations condemned both the killings of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other diplomats in that nation and the attack on the American embassy in Egypt.
Video: U.S. Muslim Leaders Condemn Killings of American Diplomats
CAIR had previously called on Muslims in the Middle East to ignore the distribution of the “trashy” anti-Islam film that resulted in the attacks in Libya, Egypt and other nations throughout the Muslim world.
SEE: CAIR Asks Mideast Muslims to Ignore ‘Trashy’ Anti-Islam Film
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.