Expressions Of Sorrow & Love To The U.S. From The Middle East

In my last blog post, I asked my Muslim readers some hard questions regarding the recent unrest in the Middle East: the killing of an American ambassador and others in Libya, the storming of U.S. embassies in Egypt and Yemen, and the week long wave of angry (and sometimes violent) protests which have now spread to more than 20 countries around the world.

I asked if these events – and others like them in the past – might play a significant role in “Islamophobia.”

Finally, I asked my Muslim readers to speak up regarding the violence and terrorism of those who call themselves Muslims but give a terrible image of Islam.

In this blog post, I think it is important to give needed balance. Mainstream American media generally only covers the extremists of the Muslim world. We see highly emotional videos and pictures of faces filled with hatred for America but our media gives precious little time to interview genuine Muslim peacemakers or show pictures like the ones shown here.

I think my non-Muslim readers need to see that there have been expressions of sorrow from the Muslim world regarding the loss of our ambassador and the 3 other fallen Americans.

I think my non-Muslim readers need to read expressions of love and gratitude from the Muslim world for the American people as well as strong condemnations of violence. Here are some of those expressions from Muslims in the Middle East as well as Muslims in America:

The President of Libya, Mohamed Magariaf
“We refuse that our nation’s lands be used for cowardice and revengeful acts. It is not a victory for God’s Sharia or his prophet for such disgusting acts to take place. . .We apologize to the United States, the people of America, and the entire world. We and the American government are standing on the same side, we stand on the same side against outlaws.”

Dr. Laila Bugaighis, Chair of the Libyan National Protection Against Violence Committee
We the citizens of Benghazi denounce the barbaric actions of attacking diplomatic delegations of all countries, and above all, those of the countries that stood by us and helped us win our war against the terror of the previous regime. What happened in Benghazi yesterday is shamefully horrible, but should not be misinterpreted. There is never an excuse to barbaric action. Those who claim it was stirred by some silly movie that attacks the Prophet of Islam are just trying to find an excuse for selfish violence. . .Benghazi will never forget what the American Government did for us, and their humanitarian stand with the Libyan people is something that can only inspire gratitude.”

Aref Nayed, Former Ambassador of Libya to the UAE
“This is to express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his fallen colleagues, and to the American people and government. I had the honor of personally knowing Ambassador Stevens. . .I am shocked and deeply anguished for the loss of a dear friend. . .It is outrageous and totally unacceptable for criminals to kill and destroy in the name of defending Islam and its Prophet. . . .”

The Islamic Networks Group
“Islamic Networks Group (ING) and its Affiliates across the nation condemn in the strongest possible terms the extremist attacks on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday, September 11th. . .As with previous instances of the Danish cartoons or Qur’an burning, it is important to emphasize that it is a greater defamation of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’an to react with violence and murder of innocent people – one of the greatest sins in Islam – than any claimed insult from an Islamophobic film. Such extreme responses, in fact, can only help Islamophobic interests. Such actions and reactions are but a useless cycle of hate that benefit no one and as occurred yesterday, can be potentially dangerous and even deadly. ING and its Affiliates are committed to upholding the right to freedom of expression and unconditionally condemn any use of violence as a means to protest offensive or hateful speech. In the United States, this fundamental, inalienable right is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The answer to speech we find deeply offensive is more speech – speech that tells the true story of Islam – not censorship or violence.”

More of these kind of comments can be found at the website of The American Muslim (TAM) – http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslims-and-muslim-organizations-condemn-attacks-on-u.s.-embassies/0019348. This is their logo:

Jesus said “blessed are the peacemakers” (The Holy Injil, The Gospel of Matthew 5:9).

May we who are Americans – particularly non-Muslims – receive these expressions of sorrow and love with open minds and grateful hearts. May we strive to be true “peacemakers.”

14 thoughts on “Expressions Of Sorrow & Love To The U.S. From The Middle East

  1. What the attack on the US embassy in Libya, the murder of the American diplomats, the mass protests in response to the infamous YouTube video, and now these images of Muslims (essentially saying they are sorry for what happened) teach us is this: A great deal of people, Muslim and non-Muslim, attribute the actions of a few to the many. We all stereotype.

    As an American, it has been incredibly frustrating to see many Muslims across the world take the United States as a whole and blame it for the “Innocence of Muslims” video, as if the entire population of the country and the government all got together and made it. What actually happened was that some idiot, who happened to live in America, made the video. It was his opinion, representative of his view of Islam. But it was NOT representative of America as a whole. Somebody within Muslim world really needs to point this out.

    At the same time, we here in US, and especially those of us that are Christians (and being an American does not make you a Christian), must not attribute the actions of terrorists and even the large protests we see on TV to every Muslim in the world.

    Remember, the actions of the few/one do not equal the actions of the many.

    • I am glad to see some of the more recent positive examples you have posted. As a Christian, I think was troubles me most about Islam is the anger that seems to be so prevalent. I know that many have “good reasons” for their anger but is there no peace, compassion, forgiveness, or love. Mark, your comment from a few days ago regarding the anger Muslims seem to display after coming from their prayers was spot on. As one who is trying to view Muslims and others through the love of Christ, this seems to be the most difficult thing to understand. None the less, I recognize that sin is sin, we have all fallen short and Praise God, he sent his son to die for us all.

      • Steve,

        Yes, I want to give positive examples of love from Muslims – especially from the Middle East – during this time of unrest and violence.

        I still remember hearing an American Christian talking about a time when extremists were coming into an area of a city where he was in the Middle East. His life was really in danger. He got out and was safe. How? A Muslim friend risked his life and led him through sniper fire to safety. We don’t hear stories like that but we should. They happen.

        As far as the anger goes, I cannot speak to it. I only know that we are called to love and forgive – just as Jesus taught us.

    • Dear Anonymous,

      You are wise to note the tendency we all have to stereotype. The events of the past two weeks have been tragic. They have produced anger in the Middle East (and in other predominately Muslim countries) and also here in America. It is so easy to blame everyone in a group for the actions of a minority.

      May we all do what you have so wisely encouraged:

      “Remember, the actions of the few/one do not equal the actions of the many.”

    • I have been blessed to know my Muslim brothers and sisters. I am deeply grieved in my spirit to see the violence that has erupted because of humans who have no perception and take no responsibility for senseless actions. The love of God truly transcends these things. He has a heart for humankind that we cannot fully comprehend but if we pray and yearn to understand one another, His heart will invade our souls and enable us to build the bridges that will unite us to His purposes, to be His people.

      • Dear Anonymous,

        Your words of love for Muslim people and your trust in a loving God are a blessing to me. I hope Muslims will read them and find the same appreciation.

        As you said, may God invade our hearts with His love for one another and His grace to build bridges!

  2. 17 persons killed in today’s “Day of Love” in Pakistan. Government leaders of multiple countries have asked their citizens to protest against America. Oh, if were just a few radicals and that everybody else had warm, fuzzy feelings because of our generosity.

    • Dear Sick and Tired,

      It is very hard for us to fathom why we are hated so much. And it is very hard not to be angry and hate in return. And yes, sometimes it looks like there are more than a few who have such deep feelings against us.

      For me, seeing the hate-filled protests against America just challenges me all the more to learn what real love is – the kind of love that Jesus displayed when he was crucified and said from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

  3. I feel as though Americans these days are ALL perceived as being simply materialistic, weak, spoiled, aimless & self-serving. Living totally for themselves & not caring about others at all. I see with fresh eyes from the above blog that Muslims are also perceived quite wrongly as being hateful & harmful, to be feared, when that is in reality only a small percentage of the people.

    The pictures & messages above were healing to me & I hope they will be to many Americans. Likewise I hope that more Americans, Muslims & American Muslims can form friendships & gain more understanding of each others hearts & cultures. Gee, that sounds so trite (like a Miss America answer), but I mean it from my heart!

    • Dear Amber in Aurora,

      I wish every American thought like you!

      May Muslims and non-Muslims make the effort to form the friendships and gain understanding of one another that you mentioned!

      Thank you!

  4. Dear Muslim Friends:

    I know that a few causes the trouble that seems to be all that our Media reports.

    I know that there are many Muslims, that are concerned about the horrible death our Ambassador and the other 3 suffered that seems to look like your whole country did it.

    I know that is not true. I know you love us just as the most of us love you.

    A few always seem to cause the trouble, but someday there will be Peace and Love all over, in the Lords timing.

    It was so comforting to see your notes expressing your sorrow for what happend.

    My prayers go out for your safety.
    Carol

    • Carol,

      I thank you for this warm expression of love for the Muslim people. I pray that many of them will see it!

      Thank you so much.

  5. It is so important to publish these comments from Muslims who are friends of the US. Thank you for making that so clear when we usually get the opposite news.

    • Norma,

      Yes, our media makes it look like no one in the Middle East has any appreciation for America but many do.

      As for those who don’t, I want to share the love of Jesus that is in my heart for them.

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