Project 21 member Archbishop Council Nedd II has travelled throughout the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf — with extensive experience in the United Arab Emirates, where he oversaw the creation of a new parish. In addition to being the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Missionary Church in the United States, Council also serves as the Archbishop of Abu Dhabi.
Having been glued to news reports about the recent news of attacks on American diplomats and installations in the Arab world like so many other Americans, Council provides this insight to add to the discussion:
On the advice of and out of respect for my many friends in the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf — and having a firm belief in peoples’ unfettered right to self-determination — I have mostly kept quiet about the events of the Arab Spring. I feel that can no longer do so.
For revolutionary fanatics to use a film that no one has probably ever seen as a pretext to launch attacks on Americans and American soil is contemptible and craven.
I have watched clips from the film “Innocence of Muslims” — the alleged impetus for the riots in Cairo — that are posted on the Internet. If I saw it in the theater, I would have walked out and demanded a refund. It’s a modern equivalent of a blackface minstrel performance. As a Christian Bishop, I was offended by that I saw.
The film, however, would really seem to have nothing to do with the unprovoked and wanton attacks on our diplomatic posts that took place on the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
I believe the terrorists who orchestrated the attacks on our overseas missions did more to fuel, hatred and division than likely anyone could imagine. America was slowly returning to a state of pre 9/11 normalcy. Anti-Muslim sentiment was slowly subsiding. My prayer is that people — Muslim and Christian, American and Arab — will see what happened as the cynical strategy of radicals, cloaked in sanctimony, who are trying to goad decent people into conflict.
This was a coordinated, planned assault on America obviously meant to take place on September 11th. What transpired is an affront to humanitarian values and goes against the words of our savior Jesus Christ when he said for us to love God and to love our neighbors as our self.
Those who coordinated the attacks should apologize to their God (astigfru allah) for what they have wrought. For those so easily duped in to going along with the attacks, those people must spend time reading their scripture and pay attention to what is really written.
What happened in Bengahzi is a radical departure from any of the Abrahamic teachings.