U.S. Embassy Apologizes for Offensive Speech of Anti-Islamic Terry Jones

Staff and Crew of Anti-Islamic Film Say They Were ‘Grossly Misled’

The 80 cast and crew members involved in the making of the movie that has roiled much of the Islamic world said Wednesday they were “grossly misled” about its intent and expressed sorrow over the resulting violence.

“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer,” they said in a statement to CNN about the movie, “Innocence of Muslims.”

“We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose,” continued the statement, which was sent to CNN by a member of the production staff who asked not to be identified for security reasons. “We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”

Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose Quran-burning last year sparked deadly riots in Afghanistan, said he had been contacted to help distribute the film.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Jones on Wednesday to ask him to withdraw his support for the film, according to Col. David Lapan, Dempsey’s spokesman.

“Jones’ support of the film risks causing more violence and death,” Lapan said.

Facebook sprouted several pages dedicated to condemning the film, including one called “Israelis, Jews & Americans Against Sam Bacile’s ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Film.”

A post on that page simply said: “IM-Bacile.”

CNN / 13.9.2012

US Embassies in Egypt and Libya Attacked after Anti-Islamic Movie

An American State Department employee was killed in Benghazi, Libya, today, when Libyans stormed the U.S. consulate, angry about a U.S. movie reportedly linked to controversial Pastor Terry Jones.

Anger over the film that some believe insults the Prophet Muhammad also led to protests in Cairo, where demonstrators climbed the walls of the U.S. embassy, took down the American flag and replaced it with a black flag.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement released tonight. “As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack.”

According to The Atlantic and Egyptian media, the movie is called “Mohammed, Prophet of the Muslims” and was produced by Jones, the controversial Florida preacher whose Koran burning in March 2011 led to the deadly violence in Afghanistan.

Egyptian media also reported that two Egyptians from the Christian minority Coptic group had helped with the movie. Clips in Arabic and English have been released on YouTube.

In a statement, the U.S. embassy said it condemned “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”

abcnews / 11.9.2012

“English Defence League” (EDL) Against Islam

 

 

Anti-Islamic Terrorist Killed at least 92 Civilians

Norway attacks: Saturday 23 July as it happened

• At least 92 killed in Norway attacks
• Bomb blast in capital Oslo kills at least 7
• 85 killed at youth camp on Utøya island
• Unexploded device found on Utøya
• Norwegian gunman ‘held rightwing views’

The death toll from the attacks has reached at least 92; seven in the Oslo bombing and 85 in the massacre on the island of Utøya.

• A Norwegian man named as Anders Behring Breivik has been charged under the country’s anti-terror legislation.
• Police have confirmed that an unexploded device was found on the island.
• A man has been arrested for carrying a knife outside a hotel where Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg was meeting families of the Utøya victims.

Guardian.co.uk / 23.7.2011

Be Muslim for a Month in Istanbul: Pray Five Times a Day and Fast

It has the ingredients of a conventional holiday – experiencing the culture and hospitality of one of the most exciting cities in the world. But few getaways encourage its participants to pray five times a day or try their hand at fasting, especially when those people are not Muslim.

A social enterprise is offering individuals the opportunity to immerse themselves in Islam, without having to convert, through a trip to Istanbul that takes in the regular sights and sounds but also includes prayers at dawn and midnight and lessons on Islam and its basic practices.

It draws heavily on the country’s Sufi traditions – with a particular emphasis on the poet and mystic Rumi. Ben Bowler, from the Blood Foundation, which runs the project, said: “We wanted to focus on Rumi because he is a unifying figure. Turkey has a relatively open brand of Islam and Istanbul is an existing tourist destination.

“There is a willingness to engage with the west. We might not have found it in the Middle East or parts of south Asia. If we were in Saudi Arabia it would have been harder.”

The foundation has called the initiative Muslim for a Month, despite it lasting nine days, and wants to offer a 21-day programme in the future. Bowler said most people would find it difficult to take a month off and admitted even the nine-day programme, which offers bed, board, instruction and sightseeing for £600, could have limited appeal.

“We currently offer Monk for a Month, where people spend time in a Buddhist monastery in Tibet. That is successful. The difference is that there’s a curiosity about Buddhism in the west. People are attracted to it, people who do meditation for example.”

In addition to praying and fasting, participants will forsake alcohol and pork. Smoking is, however, permitted. They will also be expected to carry out pre-prayer ablutions, mastering the art of hoiking their feet into a washbasin as part of the process.

Bowler described the clash between “Muslims and the rest of the world” as one of the most “contentious issues around” and said Muslim for a Month will appeal to “open-minded” individuals who want something educational and cultural.

“Our hosts don’t want to make the prayers obligatory but I think if you’re going to do something you should dive in. They might work up to five prayers a day – including the early morning one”. In mid-May, when the programme is due to start, the dawn prayer in Istanbul is around 3.30am.

An inaugural programme in February involving participants connected to Monk for a Month attracted Catholics, an agnostic, some Jews and a Hindu from around the world. Although nobody converted – and there is no obligation to do so – Bowler said there were changed attitudes and a deeper understanding of Islam.

“If we attract people who are predisposed to like Islam, that’s fine. I would like to think people aren’t so duplicitous that they will see Muslims for a Month as a cheap holiday to Istanbul.

“There is no illusion that bowing down to Mecca five times a day makes you a Muslim. It’s what the rituals and practices represent – a constant consciousness of the divine.”

Outreach programmes about Islam are nothing new. The Living Library, which operates in 12 countries and “loans” people out to challenge prejudice and stereotypes, features Muslims in its lending scheme. Deepening ties with Muslim communities is also a central plank of Barack Obama’s presidency. Last year he hosted an entrepreneurship summit.

Television has also tried to play a part in improving people’s understanding of Islam. Make Me a Muslim, shown on Channel 4 in 2007, featured a gay hairdresser, an atheist taxi driver with a porn habit and a glamour model. Their Muslim mentors guided them in the dos and don’ts of the religion. The BBC’s offering – The Retreat – was shown that same year.

Guardian.co.uk / 21.4.2011

İngiliz Guardian gazetesi, İstanbul’a düzenlenen ilginç bir kültür seyahatini haberleştirdi. “İstanbul’da bir ay Müslüman olun” başlığıyla verilen habere göre Blood Foundation adlı sivil toplum kuruluşu, İslam’ı daha iyi tanımak isteyenleri İstanbul’a getirerek bir Müslüman gibi yaşamalarını sağlıyor.

Ramazan ayı temel alınarak hazırlanan turda, katılımcılar beş vakit namaz kılıyor, oruç tutuyor, alkollü içecek ve domuz eti tüketmiyor. İslam üzerine derslerin de verildiği 600
sterlinlik organizasyonda, şehir turu da düzenleniyor.

Mevlânâ’nın ve temsil ettiği sûfî geleneğin örnek alındığı tur bir ay olarak duyurulsa da toplam dokuz gün sürüyor. Bunun nedeni de katılımcıların işlerinden izin almakta zorlanmalar.
Ancak yine de turun 21 güne çıkarılması umuluyor.

Programın yöneticisi Ben Bowler, Müslümanlar ile dünyanın geri kalanı arasındaki çatışmayı “dünyada en çok tartışılan konulardan biri” olarak nitelendirdi ve düzenledikleri turun, eğitici ve kültürel bir tatil isteyen “açık fikirli” bireylere cazip geleceğini söyledi. Blood Foundation benzer bir turu, Budizmin daha yakından tanınması için Tibet’te de düzenliyor.

ntvmsnbc.com / 22.4.2011

Turkish Foreign Minister: “From Libya to Turkey the will of the people has revived a sense of common destiny. This is now our region.”

“The wave of revolutions in the Arab world was spontaneous. But it also had to happen. They were necessary in order to restore the natural flow of history. In our region – west Asia and the south Mediterranean – there were two abnormalities in the last century: first, colonialism in the 1930s, 40s and 50s that divided the region into colonial entities, and severed the natural links between peoples and communities. For example, Syria was a French colony and Iraq a British one, so the historical and economic links between Damascus and Baghdad were cut.

The second abnormality was the cold war, which added a further division: countries that had lived together for centuries became enemies, like Turkey and Syria. We were in Nato; Syria was pro-Soviet. Our border became not a border between two nation states, but the border between two blocs. Yemen was likewise divided.

Now it is time to naturalise the flow of history. I see all these revolutions as a delayed process that should have happened in the late 80s and 90s as in eastern Europe. It did not because some argued that Arab societies didn’t deserve democracy, and needed authoritarian regimes to preserve the status quo and prevent Islamist radicalism. Some countries and leaders who were proud of their own democracy, insisted that democracy in the Middle East would threaten security in our region.

Now we are saying all together: no. An ordinary Turk, an ordinary Arab, an ordinary Tunisian can change history. We believe that democracy is good, and that our people deserve it. This is a natural flow of history. Everybody must respect this will of the people.

If we fail to understand that there is a need to reconnect societies, communities, tribes and ethnicities in our region, we will lose the momentum of history. Our future is our sense of common destiny. All of us in the region have a common destiny.

Now, if this transformation is a natural flow of the history, then how should we respond? First, we need an emergency plan to save people’s lives, to prevent disaster. Second, we need to normalise life. And finally, we need to reconstruct and restore the political systems in our region, just as we would rebuild our houses after a tsunami.

But in order to undertake that restoration, we need a plan, a vision. And we need the self-confidence to do it – the self-confidence to say: this region is ours, and we will be the rebuilders of it. But for all this to happen, we must be clear about the basic principles that we have to follow.

First, we need to trust the masses in our region, who want respect and dignity. This is the critical concept today: dignity. For decades we have been insulted. For decades we have been humiliated. Now we want dignity. That is what the young people in Tahrir Square demanded. After listening to them, I became much more optimistic for the future. That generation is the future of Egypt. They know what they want. This is a new momentum in our region, and it should be respected.

The second principle is that change and transformation are a necessity, not a choice. If history flows and you try to resist it, you will lose. No leader, however charismatic, can stop the flow of history. Now it is time for change. Nobody should cling to the old cold war logic. Nobody should argue that only a particular regime or person can guarantee a country’s stability. The only guarantee of stability is the people.

Third, this change must be peaceful – security and freedom are not alternatives; we need both. In this region we are fed up with civil wars, and tension. All of us have to act wisely without creating violence or civil strife between brothers and sisters. We have to make this change possible with the same spirit of common destiny.

Fourth, we need transparency, accountability, human rights and the rule of law, and to protect our social and state institutions. Revolution does not mean destruction. The Egyptian case is a good example: the army acted very wisely not to confront the people. But if there is no clear separation between the military and civilian roles of the political institutions, you may face problems. I am impressed by Field Marshal Tantawi’s decision to deliver power to the civilian authority as soon as possible.

Finally, the territorial integrity of our countries and the region must be protected. The legal status and territorial integrity of states including Libya and Yemen should be protected. During colonialism and cold war we had enough divisions, enough separations.

This process must be led by the people of each country, but there should be regional ownership. This is our region. Intellectuals, opinion-makers, politicians of this region should come together more frequently in order to decide what should happen in our region in the future. We are linked to each other for centuries to come.

Whatever happens in Egypt, in Libya, in Yemen, in Iraq or in Lebanon affects us all. Therefore we should show solidarity with the people of these countries. There should be more regional forums, for politicians and leaders, for intellectuals, for the media.

Usually the “Middle East” – an orientalist term – is regarded as synonymous with tensions, conflicts and underdevelopment. But our region has been the centre of civilisation for millennia, leading to strong traditions of political order in which multicultural environments flourish. In addition to this civilisational and political heritage, we have sufficient economic resources today to make our region a global centre of gravity.

Now it is time to make historic reassessments in order to transform our region into one of stability, freedom, prosperity, cultural revival and co-existence. In this new regional order there should be less violence and fewer barriers between countries, societies and sects. But there should be more economic interdependency, more political dialogue and more cultural interaction.

Today the search for a new global order is under way. After the international financial crisis, we need to develop an economic order based on justice, and a social order based on respect and dignity. And this region – our region – can contribute to the formation of this emerging new order: a global, political, economic and cultural new order.

Our responsibility is to open the way for this new generation, and to build a new region over the coming decade that will be specified by the will of its people.”

Ahmet Davutoğlu

Guardian.co.uk / 15.3.2011

Dışişleri Bakanı Ahmet Davutoğlu, Guardian’daki yazısında Arap dünyasındaki halk hareketlerini yorumladı ve ‘Hakarete maruz kaldık ve aşağılandık. Ama sonunda tarih bize itibarımızı iade ediyor’ dedi.

“Şimdi artık tarihi doğal akışına bırakmanın zamanı. Arap dünyasındaki devrimleri Doğu Avrupa’da olduğu gibi 1980’lerde doksanlarda yaşanması gereken gecikmiş süreçler olarak görüyorum. Gecikti çünkü, bazıları Arap toplumlarının demokrasiye layık olmadıklarını, statükoyu korumak ve radikal İslamcılığı önlemek için onların otoriter rejimlere ihtiyacı olduğunu söyledi. Kendi demokrasileriyle gurur duyan bazı ülkeler ve liderler, Orta Doğu’da demokrasinin bölgede güvenliğe tehdit oluşturacağında ısrar ettiler.

 “Ama şimdi hep birlikte hayır diyoruz. Sıradan bir Türk, sıradan bir Arap ve sıradan bir Tunuslu tarihi değiştirebilir. Demokrasinin iyi birşey olduğuna ve halkın bunu hakettiğine inanıyoruz. Tarihin doğal akışı budur. Herkes halkın bu iradesine saygılı olmalı.” 

“Toplumların, aşiretlerin, farklı etkin grupların yeniden birbirleriyle bağ kurması gerektiğini anlayamazsak, tarihsel ivmeyi kaçıracağız. Bölgenin kaderi ortaktır. ”

Davutoğlu yazısında bundan sonraki aşamada yapılması gerekenler konusunda ise şunları söylüyor: 

“Öncelikle insanların hayatlarını kurtaracak, felaketi önleyecek acil durum planlarımız olmalı. İkincisi hayatı normale döndürmeliyiz. Üçüncüsü de tsunamiden sonra evlerimizi yeniden yaptığımız gibi siyasi sistemleri yeniden yapılandırmalı ve tesis etmeliyiz. Ama bunun için bir vizyona ve özgüvene ihtiyacımız var. Bu özgüven de şu demek: Bu bölge bizim ve yeniden inşa edecek olan bizleriz. Bunun için de izlenecek temel ilkelere açıklık getirmeliyiz. Bölgemizde saygı ve itibar isteyen kitlelere güvenmeliyiz. Onlarca yıl boyunca hakarete uğradık. Onlarca yıl aşağılandık. Tahrir meydanındaki gençlerin dile getrirdiği gibi itibarımızı istiyoruz.

“İkinci ilke, değişim ve dönüşümün bir tercih değil bir zorunluluk olduğunu kabul etmektir. Üçüncüsü bu değişim barışçıl yollarla gerçekleşmeli. Güvenlik ve özgürlük birbirlerinin alternatifi değildir. İkisine birden ihtiyacımız var. Dördüncü ilke, şeffaflık, hesap verebilirlik, insan hakları, hukukun üstünlüğü son olarak da bölgemizde ülkelerimizin toprak bütünlüğünün güvence altına alınmasıdır.” 

“Oryantalist bir kavram olan Orta Doğu’nun adı şimdiye kadar hep gerilim, çatışma ve az gelişmişlikle özdeşleşti. Ama bizim bölgemiz binlerce yıl boyunca, medeniyetin merkezi oldu. Bu medeniyet ve siyasi kültür mirasımıza ek olarak, bölgemizi küresel çekim merkezine dönüştürecek ekonomik kaynaklarımız da var.”

Hürriyet / 17.3.2011