CAIR Deplores Violent Depiction of Jesus in SNL Skit

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/19/13) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today deplored the violent depiction of Jesus in a recent NBC "Saturday Night Live" (SNL) skit.

According to NBC's description of the skit: "In Quentin Tarantino's new historical revenge thriller, 'DJesus Uncrossed,' Jesus emerges from his tomb and has the Romans on his radar."

SEE: New Tarantino Movie

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

"Such misrepresentation of what Jesus, peace be upon him, stands for is extremely offensive to Muslims and to all those who believe in his message. While we understand the use of shocking imagery and bizarre juxtapositions to provoke a humorous response, we believe such a distasteful portrayal of a religious figure revered by billions of Muslims and Christians worldwide crosses the comedic line.

"We strongly support free speech rights for all, but one would hope that common decency and respect for the beliefs of others would help avoid such unfortunate depictions."

Awad noted that many people are unaware that Muslims revere and love Jesus as one of God's greatest messengers. Every time Muslims mention Jesus' name, they add "peace be upon him."

The Quran, Islam's revealed text, states: "Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God gives thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'" (3:45)

The Quran depicts Jesus speaking from the cradle and, with God's permission, curing lepers and the blind. (5:110) God also states in the Quran: "We gave (Jesus) the Gospel and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers." (57:27)

Islam's Prophet Muhammad called Jesus God's "spirit and word" and once said: "Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one." (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, [email protected]; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, [email protected]