CIP Condemns Wahhabi Atrocities in Libya and Attack on U.S. Embassy in Egypt
by Stephen Schwartz
The Center for Islamic Pluralism condemns unconditionally the murder of U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and two more Americans in an assault by fundamentalist Wahhabis on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, during the night of September 11-12, 2012.
The terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate coincided with a reckless demonstration against the U.S. Embassy in Cairo organized by the so-called so-called Hizb Ul-Nur or "Party of Light" and Hizb Ul-Asalah or "Party of Authenticity," two Egyptian Wahhabi parties.
The full picture of how this terrible outburst took place remains obscured.
It has been suggested that the appearance of a crude anti-Islam internet film by an American was a pretext for the attacks, since demonstrations against it had been called in Egypt.
Sources in Libya, however, indicate that the brutal invasion of the Benghazi consulate had been planned in advance of news reports about the internet product.
Some commentators have suggested that the atrocious acts were intended to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the Al-Qaida terror raids on the U.S.
The origin of the internet caricature of Prophet Muhammad is also unclear.
As moderate, traditional, spiritual, conventional, and conservative Muslims we reject Wahhabi aggression in all its forms.
As pointed out in our statement on the legacy of September 11, 2001, issued late yesterday, Libyan Wahhabis have been especially aggressive against Sufis in the aftermath of the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood to score significant results in the recent Libyan electiions. Violence against Americans in Libya reflects similarly a will to revenge by the Wahhabis, after their failure at the democratic polls in that country.
We offer our condolences to the families of the dead American diplomatic personnel.
We call on all Muslims to avoid demonstrations against our alleged enemies among non-Muslims, to remain calm, and, especially, to reject any pretense that insults against our Prophet justify bloodshed. If we are, as we should be, firm in our belief, we cannot be affected by those who think or speak ill of us and of our religion.
If mass protests are required of Muslims, they should be directed against the Wahhabis and others whose actions discredit our religion.
We call on the Libyan authorities, who were assisted by the Western powers in overthrowing the corrupt and deviant regime of Mu'ammar Al-Qadhdhafi, to cooperate with U.S. officials in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the crime of Benghazi.
We call on all moderate Muslims to repudiate the demagogic politics of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which, having gained power in their country, has encouraged the abandonment of mutual respect between religions and nations.
We appeal to Western media to cease flattering Wahhabi radicals with the title "Salafi," which is both inaccurate historically and illegitimate in Islamic terms.
The hideous incidents in Libya have harmed significantly the reputation of the sole land that, involved in the "Arab Spring," and repudiating the Muslim Brotherhood, provided hope that the current conflict within Islam, between moderates and radicals, could avoid an extremist triumph.
To emphasize, criticism of Islam or of Muslims harms neither, if it is not violent. Muslims should be ashamed if it is shown that the circulation of an unsophisticated and trivial defamation of our Prophet can so easily incite the murder of innocent non-Muslims. Libyan Muslims, in particular, should feel remorse at the cruel fate inflicted on representatives of a country that helped liberate them from a perverse dictatorship.
Only resistance to extremism and rational dialogue can rescue the Muslims from the abyss that threatens us, and the world.