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"We at the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) strongly condemn in the strongest possible terms the extremist attacks on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday, September 11th, one of which killed U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stephens along with three of his staff members. Our heartfelt condolences and sympathy go out to the families of the victims of this horrendous attack. Events in both nations claimed to be in reaction to an online film considered extremely offensive to Islam. We strongly condemn this extreme provocation by a reckless person who produced a movie to defame our prophet. We also condemn the irresponsible behavior of those who promote this highly obnoxious movie.
"We strongly condemn these treacherous acts and murder by "ultraconservative" Muslims in the name of our beloved Prophet. 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. Those who responded in such a manner would do well to instead study the Prophet Muhammad's example in the face of harm. On a daily basis, Prophet Muhammad was exposed to demeaning abuse for 13 years during the early years of his mission. His response was not to return insult for insult or hurt for hurt but to pray for his persecutors and overlook their insults. In a famous Islamic tradition, he stated: "It is not allowed to cause harm to others or to return harm for harm". It is also an Islamic principle that one does not blame or punish another for the crimes of another; the employees at the embassies were in no way responsible for the reckless actions of either Terry Jones or the producers of the film, who were surely delighted that Muslims reacted as they did to this purposeful provocation. Such actions and reactions are but a vicious cycle of hate that benefits no one and as occurred yesterday, can be potentially dangerous and even deadly.
"We at ICN are committed to upholding the right to freedom of expression, and we 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. Acts of violence carried out in the name of Islam are a greater offense against Islam than the content of any film or speech.
"We advise our Muslim brethren to remain calm, patient and forgive this senseless act of these provocateurs just as our Prophet Muhammad would have done. We also urge both fellow Muslims and fellow Americans to "Work together for a more peaceful world and take this opportunity to redouble efforts towards peace and harmony through increased outreach, dialogue, and understanding
"Peace be with you."
Wednesday, September 12 2012, 05:37 PM CDT
Houston brother will be his own attorney in court
June 18, 2013 13:02 GMT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Roane County man will face federal gun violation charges next month without an attorney.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/17VlXpM ) reported Rocky Joe Houston will represent himself on a charge of possession of a gun by a felon.
The charge came after Houston earlier represented himself in state court on charges stemming from a police chase. He was convicted of evading arrest and reckless endangerment.
Houston and his brother, Leon Houston, were tried, but not convicted, in the 2006 shooting deaths of a Roane County deputy and his ride-along companion.
In federal court, Rocky Joe Houston is claiming the officer who charged him with the felony had no legal authority.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com
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