Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 13:29 PM EDT, 12 September 2012
BENGHAZI, Libya – This morning the White House confirmed that the California born U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens and four consular staffers were murdered during a mob attack on the consulate following the release of a video which denigrated the Prophet Mohammed.
Though it is unclear when and how the four diplomats died, it is surmised that they were rushed to a secret safe house after the initial attack to await evacuation by a U.S. commando unit.
Members of the evacuation team arrived from Tripoli soon after receiving notification of the escalating violence which claimed the lives of Steven and three others diplomats.
The Libyan government issued a statement immediately condemning the violence and sympathizing with the families of the murdered. Libya's Deputy Interior Minister Wanis Al-Sharif expressed surprise that the armed groups knew the location of the safe house.
"It was supposed to be a secret place and we were surprised the armed groups knew about it. There was shooting," Sharif said. Two U.S. personnel were killed there, he said. Two other people were killed at the main consular building and between 12 and 17 wounded. (Source: Reuters)
The violence was incited by a low-budget film which was made in the summer of 2011 but was recently promoted by Florida Pastor Terry Jones, who previously garnered international attention when he threatened to burn the Qur'an. He was subsequently persuaded to abandon this incendiary act by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.
However, Jones remained undeterred in his efforts to provoke Muslims, and is reported to have been actively promoting the low-budget film which denigrated the Islamic faith, the Prophet Mohammed, and Arabs.
It appears that his vigorous internet promotion of the film which also portrayed Mohammed engaging in a sex act with a woman, as a fool, a philanderer, and religious charlatan, is a culmination of his original efforts to defame and inflame Islamic sentiment.
Sam Bacile, a self-proclaimed Jew and real-estate developer, wrote and produced the movie, but is currently in hiding for fear of being murdered like the Dutch filmmaker, Van Gogh, who was killed in 2004. However, that is where the comparison ends, because Van Gogh's film titled ‘Submission’ was made in conjunction with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who desired to highlight the plight of women who are forced into arranged marriages.
The White House will certainly spend the next few days consoling the families of the victims while simultaneously investigating the attacks against the U.S. Embassies in both Libya and Cairo. The newly elected, President Mohamed Morsi who represents the Muslim Brotherhood has yet to issue an apology or any statement acknowledging the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Cairo which may have been more spontaneous than the apparently well-organized coordinated attack of the Benghazi embassy.
Though it is early in the process and blame has yet to be assigned, certainly a significant amount of responsibility for fomenting the unrest that precipitated the death of these four Americans needs to be placed firmly on the shoulders of Pastor Terry Jones for promoting an obscure video with the clear intent of provoking violence. He had precedence, he knew it was incendiary, and his motives are Machiavellian at most and irresponsible in the extreme.
As many have expressed today throughout Social Media outlets, this is not something that Jesus would have done because he advocated peace and ended all conflicts out of love. It is unfortunate that religions as interpreted by extremists have led to more heart-ache, tragedy, and death of human beings since time immemorial, and we would be well served to embrace tolerance in this era of greater interconnectedness.Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor: @ayannanahmias
- Reuters confirms: U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens killed in rocket attack on car (riehlworldview.com)
- U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Three Aides Killed in Libya (towleroad.com)
- U.S. Ambassador To Libya Dead, U.S. Embassy In Cairo Attacked, In Protests Over Obscure Film (outsidethebeltway.com)