Hurting Muslims’ Feelings ‘Cannot Be Tolerated,’ Egypt’s Ruling Party Says

Patrick Goodenough | September 13, 2012 | 5:33am EDT
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Protestors burn a U.S. flag during a protest about a film ridiculing Mohammed, near the U.S. Embassy in Tunis on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

( – As U.S. diplomatic missions tightened security in the aftermath following Tuesday’s deadly attack in Libya and continuing protests in Egypt – and new eruptions in Yemen -- Islamic governments and organizations, including terrorist groups, condemned an obscure film about Mohammed blamed by some for the incidents.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in a statement demanded legal action against those behind the film.

“[H]urting the feelings of one and a half billion Muslims cannot be tolerated, and the people’s anger and fury for their faith is invariably predictable, often unstoppable,” it said, calling for “assaults on the sanctities of all heavenly religions” to be criminalized.

“Otherwise, such acts will continue to cause devout Muslims across the world to suspect and even loathe the West, especially the USA, for allowing their citizens to violate the sanctity of what they hold dear and holy. Hence, we demand that all those involved in such crimes be urgently brought to trial.”

The Muslim Brotherhood also said it condemned the “bloodshed and violent response” seen on Tuesday, but added that “we cannot ignore the fact that these countries never made a move regarding the abuse until after the strong reaction seen across the Muslim world.”

In Afghanistan, the Taliban called for revenge against the U.S. by attacking its soldiers stationed there. It also urged religious leaders around the country to inform their followers about Americans’ “inhuman acts” and to prepare them to fight.

Hezbollah in Lebanon accused the United States, Jews and Egyptian Copts of insulting “the great and noble personality of the Prophet Mohammad.”

“This immoral action represents the highest degree of aggression against the sublime human right of respecting beliefs, sanctities, and feelings,” said the Iranian-backed terrorist group.

Although a handful of individuals appear to be behind the amateur online movie spoof about Mohammed, Hezbollah said that it showed the “real position of the U.S.-Zionist alliance” with regard to Islam and Muslims.

In Tehran, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran condemned the “desecration of Islam’s prophet” and sympathized with Muslims for their “hurt feelings.”

“Apart from its legal obligations, the U.S. government has direct moral responsibility to stop this dangerous trend of spreading the culture of hatred and desecration of Islam’s sanctities,” Iran’s state-funded Press TV quoted him as saying.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry also weighed in.

“The government of Pakistan strongly condemns the airing of a defamatory video clip in the U.S., maligning the revered and pious personality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on the eve of September 11, 2012,” it said. (PBUH is an acronym for “peace be upon him.”)

“Such abominable actions, synchronized with commemoration of atrocious events like 9/11, provoke hatred, discord and enmity within societies and between peoples of various faiths,” the ministry added. “The event has deeply hurt the feelings of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims all over the world.”

A 14-minute excerpt of the movie has in fact been available on YouTube since at least July 2, but earlier this month a Coptic activist in the U.S. posted a statement on his blog about the clip, linking it to the 9/11 anniversary. In recent days Arab media outlets began reporting on it, in some cases posting links to the film itself.

In a separate statement, Pakistan’s foreign ministry also condemned the killing of U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other diplomats in Benghazi.

A number of U.S. embassies in mostly Islamic capitals posted notices on their websites Wednesday warning U.S. citizens to be aware of the possibility of protests that could turn violent. They include the missions in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Malaysia, Armenia and Kuwait.

The embassy in Kabul issued a joint statement with the International Security Assistance Force condemning the violence in Libya. It quoted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments deploring “any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others” while saying there was no justification for violence.

“We ask for the assistance of Afghan leaders and the people of Afghanistan in maintaining calm and continuing our work to build a better, secure future,” the embassy-ISAF statement added. “The safety of the Afghan people, Americans, and Afghan and coalition forces continues to be our utmost priority.”

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