Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

SUS Diocese Denounces Offensive Film Toward Islam and All Acts of Insult and Violence Against Any Religion or People of Faith

September 15, 2012

COLLEYVILLE, TX. September 15, 2012 -- A statement from His Grace regarding the offensive film toward Islam.

The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States of America adamantly and vigorously denounces the newly released, infuriating film provoking hatred and humiliation toward Islam and all acts of violence against any religion, all symbols reflecting religious beliefs, and all persons identified with a particular faith-based allegiance.

We strongly condemn the unjustified burning of the Holy Bible as a reaction by angry demonstrators protesting against the production of this inflammatory film. It is unfortunate that individuals who are appalled at the poor judgment of unethical filmmaking propaganda choose to profess disapproval by igniting violence, thus, further fueling an extensive measure of discord against the Islamic faith. In reality, these methods of declaring objection serve only to further promote interest and curiosity in a film that is unworthy of time and merit because of its wounding and insensitive intentions.

All people should have the right to their belief system without fear, criticism, or repercussion from unbelievers. As moral global citizens, no one should exercise a position to berate an entire religion and vilify their believers based on tainted generalizations.

With heavy hearts, we extend our deepest sorrow and condolences to the families of the United States Ambassador, Mr. Chris Stevens, his colleagues, and any other innocent people caught in the crossfire in the recent violent demonstrations relating to an offensive film against Islam. It is deeply disheartening to witness these kinds of atrocities at a time when the world needs healing.

We strongly advocate for peace in Egypt, the Middle-East, America, and all over the world. The future of this generation and future generations is at stake. Expectations of judicious prospects and application of all religious communities and world leaders are to build an outlook of trust and optimism that every future generation can proudly reflect on the peace that this generation diligently endeavored to accomplish.

We remain in deep prayer for peace throughout the world.

Bishop Youssef
Bishop, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the United States