Sep 16, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(Detroit Free Press) As anger flared across the Muslim world Friday over an anti-Islam video from the U.S., the religious leader of Michigan’s largest mosque slammed Islamic extremists for attacking U.S. embassies and urged Muslims not to react violently to attacks on their prophet.
And he urged the U.S. to do more to stop the people behind the video and those who are promoting it.
“Somehow, they should be stopped,” said Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn. “The U.S. response should be much more stronger than verbal condemnation.”
Al-Qazwini attended the annual Eid dinner Thursday night at the State Department in Washington with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who spoke about the attacks on U.S. facilities that resulted in four deaths in Libya.Clinton said the violence was not justified, a view that was echoed by Al-Qazwini. He said Islam teaches that ambassadors and other guests should always be welcomed.
“This is not what Islam preaches,” Al-Qazwini said of the fatal attacks. “There is no way we can tolerate killing.”
At the same time, he said we can’t “sit and watch” as the anti-Islam video is promoted.
“We can do more to stop inciting violence,” he said. Allowing the movie has “broader ramifications for our troops, diplomats and Americans abroad.”
The filmmaker and those who support the movie, such as Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones of Florida, “have blood on their hands,” he said.
Speaking during Friday prayers — the most popular gathering time of the week for Muslims — Al-Qazwini said he was dismayed to see Islamic extremists take down the U.S. flag at an embassy and replace it with an Al-Qaida flag.
“Al-Qaida is the last organization that speaks for Muslims,” Al-Qazwini said.
Al-Qazwini told the congregation that Muslims “should not be quiet” when their prophet is attacked. But “we cannot be violent” in responding, he said.
Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Friday: “No grievance can be properly addressed through illegitimate means. The vandalism of embassy properties and threats of violence does more to shame the legacy of Prophet Muhammad than the cheap movie trailer made about him.”