Voices from Russia

Monday, 17 September 2012

LA Muslim and Coptic Orthodox Christian Leaders to Show Unity

Coptic Bishop Serapion (1951- ) of Los Angeles 


Groups Set To Condemn Anti-American Violence in Muslim Countries and Anti-Islamic Video

Muslim and Coptic Orthodox Christian leaders will join forces in downtown Los Angeles today to condemn the anti-American violence flaring in Muslim countries and the anti-Muslim film clip that triggered it. Dr Maher Hathout, an Egyptian-born physician who speaks for the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Southern California, and Bishop Serapion, the spiritual leader of the Coptic Orthodox church in Los Angeles, are expected to be the main speakers at a late-morning news conference on City Hall’s South Lawn. Hathout said in condemning the violence directed at Americans, “Our religions teach us to respond to hate speech with good speech and good work. The behaviour exhibited doesn’t speak for the majority of Muslims and are the actions of a small group. This irrational behaviour can’t be allowed to spread, and this movie can’t be allowed to dictate our actions”.

On 11 September, Chris Stevens, the American Ambassador to Libya, was killed, along with three other State Department employees, in an attack on the American Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi by a heavily-armed force at the same time that a demonstration was taking place outside it. He is believed to have died of smoke inhalation. Also on 11 September, an anti-American demonstration took place on 11 September in Cairo, where the wall at the American Embassy was breached, but it didn’t come under gunfire.

A supposed movie trailer for Innocence of Muslims sparked the demonstrations… it’s not clear that an entire movie actually exists… was posted on YouTube and featured dialogue insulting the prophet Mohammad. The words were in Egyptian Arabic, and were added after filming without the actors’ knowledge. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, an Egyptian Copt and naturalised American citizen, was identified as one of the makers of the film; deputies escorted him from his home in Cerritos just after midnight on Saturday, they took him to their station for questioning by his federal probation officer. Authorities said that federal probation officials in Los Angeles are investigating if Nakoula violated his probation stemming from an earlier bank fraud conviction. Under the terms of his probation, he wasn’t supposed to use the internet without permission. He remains out of the public eye.

17 September 2012




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