Last night the Council on American Islamic Relations along with the Libyan American Association of Southern California cosponsored a candle vigil that brought members of the community together in Tustin at Jamboree and Barranca to mourn the loss of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the three other American diplomats killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi earlier this week.
“We are here to make it clear to the world that this outrageous crime goes against basic principles of Islam,” event organizer Dima Khedraki said. “Islam is against any kind of violence, hatred and revenge. Islam is a religion of peace love and acceptance of one another.”
Members of the Orange County community not only mourned the loss of the diplomats, but also condoned the film that was made here in southern California.
The American-made film Innocence of Muslims was linked earlier this week to a Cerritos gas station operator, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (also known as “Sam Bacile”) who is said to be one of the filmmakers. The film mocks Islam’s prophet Muhammad and set off the retaliation and demonstrations we have seen in the Middle East this week.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Nakoula was taken by federal probation officers for further questioning to the Cerritos sheriff’s station for possible violation of probation.
Gawker.com even confirm earlier today the identity of the director of the film as “a Schlocky softcore porn director named Alan Roberts.”
“I couldn’t watch the whole [film],” said Rancho Cucamunga resident Manar Hijaz, 25. “It made me cry. I am emotional, angry and just filled with a lot of mixed feelings.”
Many members of the Interfaith group in Orange County also attended the event in solidarity with the Muslim community
“We have to find a way to peace,” said Ann Nguyen of the Garden Grove Interfaith group. “We misunderstand each other. We don’t spend enough time sitting together to talk. If we did that we would understand we share the same values about family and life.”
Nguyen, whose son is a marine currently in Afghanistan, expressed her concern especially with the attacks in Afghanistan at the British Embassy claimed the lives of two US Marines this week.
“If we talk interfaith we have to walk interfaith. I happen to be Catholic and my husband is Buddhist. Its not about what the label is, it is about how we live. We need to try to work together and bring peace,” Nguyen said.
Event organizer, Khedraki, stated that “the people of the Middle East should be rallying together against the dictatorships in the region and not against a low budget movie that very few would have even know about had it not been for the uprising against it in the last couple of days.”