Coptic Christians and Vatican strongly condemn anti-Muslim film

The Coptic Christian Archdiocese of America has distanced itself from an anti-Muslim film “The Innocence of Muslims,” that has sparked protests in more than 24 countries.

“We reject any allegation that the Coptic Orthodox community has contributed to the production of this film,” the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese said in a statement Friday, denouncing the Copts who reportedly produced and promoted the film.

“Indeed, the producers of this film have taken these unwise and offensive actions independently and should be held responsible for their own actions.”

The movie was filmed on a Hollywood set, and its permit has been linked to a Christian charity.

Joseph Nassralla Abdelmasih, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Morris Sadek, Coptic Christians who live in the United States, have emerged as the producers and promoters of the crude anti-Muslim film that depicts Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as a bumbling sexual pervert.

The Vatican too has issued the “firmest possible condemnation”.

Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi S.J., said that nothing can “justify the activity of terrorist organizations and homicidal violence.”

Lombardi’s first statement on the attacks that expressed sadness, mourning and the promise of prayers had been criticized as “outrageous” by Catholic commentator Phil Lawler.

“Four American diplomats are killed, and a Vatican spokesman responds not by condemning the killings but by insisting that we should respect the sensitivities of Muslims. Outrageous!” he wrote on the Catholic Culture website.

“The first order of business, for civilized people, is a clear, unequivocal, and absolute condemnation of the killings.”

Nassralla heads a Christian charity, Nakoula is a convicted felon and Sadek is an incendiary activist. Coptic leaders said they are investigating what ties, if any, the men have to mainstream Copts in the United States.

Currently, and despite a request from the White House, Google does not plan to remove the anti-Muslim film, but will restrict access to it in certain countries.


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