ADDIS ABABA: A group of Muslim students in Ethiopia have lashed out at the anti-Islam “film” clip that has sparked widespread protests across the Islamic world, calling it an “attack on Islam” and demanded that action be taken against the producers of the film in the United States.
However, they told Bikyamasr.com that “violence is not an appropriate response” to the anger the film created.
“We are Muslims and we feel insulted and threatened by this stupid film that was promoted by radical Christians,” one of the group, Mohamed, told Bikyamasr.com on Saturday. “But at the same time, we are also Muslims and must follow the path of the Prophet in promoting a different perspective.”
The group of students, who in the past few months have called for democratic change and political freedoms, said that violence is not the answer.
“We have seen all the turmoil that protests and clashes have brought. It won’t get the job done in terms of changing how the west perceives Muslims and Islam. We have to do better,” they said.
For them, peaceful demonstrations are important, “but they must remain peaceful. We don’t feel the Prophet would want to see people killed over religion in this manner. It is unproductive.”
While the Muslims said that they were contemplating a demonstration, following the violence in the Middle East that has arisen, they are looking for alternative routes.
“We are not an Islamic country so we have to think of different ideas to battle this anti-Islam sentiment. And to do so is important because it can give the moral authority back to Muslims,” they argued.
Protests in the Middle East have left at least 6 people dead in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya and other countries in the past three days of violence that has erupted.
While calm has largely returned to the region on Saturday, there are fears that without a concerted action by the United States against the producers, violence and anger could erupt once again.
“Here in Ethiopia we are keenly aware of the anger. We are angry, and we hope Obama and others in the US begin to understand that this is more than about a film, it is about the hatred being allowed to continue against Islam in the US and Europe,” they added.