Local Muslim leaders react to attacks in Libya

CINCINNATI - Muslim leaders in the Tri-State are speaking out against the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats.

They say it's important for all Americans to know that the vast majority of American Muslims condemn the violence and anti-American demonstrations that surrounded the assault. A leader at the Cincinnati Islamic Center in West Chester called the assault "despicable and cowardly."

"There is no justification whatever for the killing of an ambassador. When you look at the history of Islam, those who are historians recognize that even in times of war, Muslims treated ambassadors with great respect and guaranteed safe passage for them," said Dr. Inayat Malik of the Cincinnati Islamic Educational Council.

The head of the Cincinnati Council on American Islamic Relations is Karen Dabdoub.

"When something like this happens, there is a tendency to paint everybody with the same broad brush strokes, and to place collective blame and so, I don't accept collective blame, of course, because our community here or in the United States had nothing to do with this," said Dabdoub.

Dabdoub says it's more important than ever that local Islamic leaders give their people a voice in the United States.

"It's also important for us to speak out so that people know that we condemn these killings, and that these killings are un-Islamic," said Dabdoub.

The University of Cincinnati's Muslim Students Association plans to hold a vigil for Stevens Friday afternoon.

"It's really sad to see this and it really makes me worried of how we are going to react as to our foreign policy. It really makes me worried now because we started a really good policy. We supported the Libyan people and this is a horrible setback that I'm worried are we going to be able to continue to support them," said Amina Darwish, advisor for the MSA.

The vigil will take place at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Clifton Avenue. It will start after Friday prayers at 3:30 p.m. and the group is inviting the entire UC community to join them.

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