CAIR Condemns Burning of Nigerian Churches
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/19/06) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today condemned the burning of churches by Nigerian Muslims protesting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. A number of people were killed or injured in the protests.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said attacks on churches or other houses of worship are prohibited in Islam and reiterated its condemnation of all violent acts in response to the Danish cartoon controversy.
SEE: U.S. Muslims Reject Violent Response to Cartoon Controversy
“Like the Caliph Umar who refused to pray in a Jerusalem church because his followers might then be tempted to turn it into a mosque, Muslims have a religious duty to respect and protect all houses of worship,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad cited chapter two, verse 69 of the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, which states: “Those who believe (in the Quran), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians. . .all who believe in God and the last day and work righteousness shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
CAIR has undertaken a number of initiatives in response to the controversy, including meetings with the Danish and Norwegian ambassadors in Washington, D.C. The Washington-based group also distributed a commentary, titled “What Would Muhammad Do?” outlining the Prophet Muhammad’s restrained reaction to personal abuse.
SEE: What Would Muhammad Do?