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» 09/13/2012
LIBYA - USA
Destroyers and marines sent to Tripoli, in anti-Islam film "war"
Obama and Clinton express outrage and shock. The attack on the consulate in Benghazi, may have been premeditated. The U.S. ambassador died of suffocation. With him three US staff and 10 Libyans were killed. The director of the film against Muhammad goes into hiding and describes Islam as a "cancer." Arabic translator of the film unknown. The tensions in Libya (and Egypt) add to those between Obama and Netanyahu on Iranian nuclear issue.

Tripoli (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United States is sending two destroyers to the Libyan coast and a unit of 50 Marines to protect U.S. personnel still in Tripoli, after the assassination of their ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three other members of the diplomatic staff during an attack by gunmen in Benghazi. 10 Libyans were also killed in the clash.

Experts wonder if the attack on the U.S. consulate in the capital of Cyrenaica was spontaneous, born of a rally protesting an anti-Islam film, or whether it was a premeditated attack, using the demonstration as a screen.

The safest assumption is that of a premeditated attack: the gunmen struck in a professional way, using sophisticated weapons, in several waves. It seems that they knew the structure of the consulate well, the safe area where Ambassador Stevens was heading to hide, before being hit by grenade- missiles.

The Libyan doctor who treated him, said that Stevens died of asphyxia due to smoke inhalation. Libyan personnel transported the ambassador hospital, where no one knew him. The medical staff tried to revive him, but to no avail.

Libyan national security sources believe that the attack was organized and run by Ansar al-Sharia, an Islamic group that claims to be close to al Qaeda, even if they were mixed with the crowd, which included tribal militiamen and others. But the group has denied involvement.

At a White House in the midst of the presidential election campaign, there outrage and shock, but also determination because, as President Obama assured, "justice will be done for this terrible act." Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, has asked "how could this happen in a country that we helped to liberate, in a city that we have helped and saved from destruction?".

Doubts also remain about the movie that sparked the attack. Producer, Sam Basin, 56, an Israeli-American, is now hidden in a secret location. He defends his work which was intended to condemn Islam as "a cancer" and a "lie." In the film, titled "Innocence of Muslims," ​​Muhammad is presented as violent homosexual pedophile, a supporter of child abuse, etc. The film, shot with very little professionalism and with a budget of only 5 million dollars, collected from Jewish donors, was screened only once in a half-empty room.

Its trailer on Youtube found an Arabic translator, whom the director says he does not know, thus broadcasting the images and criticism to the wider Muslim world. Among the supporters of the film there is also the pastor Terry Jones, infamous for his 2010 threat to burn a Koran, which led to a series of Islamic vendettas against Western and Christian targets.

Some agencies have also cited Coptic personalities in the U.S. among its supporters, but the Coptic Church of Egypt has strongly condemned the film, the sole aim of which is to offend a religious belief.

Protests - quite peaceful - have also been held in Cairo, in front of the U.S. embassy. Among the demonstrators there are also many young Copts.

The Libyan crisis and the shock caused by the anti-Islam film falls at a time of growing tension between the United States and the State of Israel, between Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu on how to curb Iran in its nuclear race. In recent days, Netanyahu directed some statements to Obama and Clinton who reaffirm the importance of dealing with the Iranian crisis through diplomatic channels. Netanyahu and his government want military action, an air strike to destroy the nuclear power plants in Iran, where it is believed Tehran is building nuclear weapons. Iran has always denied this allegation and claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

 

 


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See also
09/14/2012 LIBYA - ISLAM
Arrests in Benghazi over U.S. consulate attack as Islamic world rises against Mohammed film
09/25/2012 PAKISTAN
As silence falls on the imam behind the blasphemy, Rimsha Masih's case goes to juvenile court
by Jibran Khan
09/22/2012 LIBYA - ISLAM
Young Libyans attack Salafi militants base
03/13/2013 EGYPT - LIBYA
Benghazi, Coptic Christians denounce torture and attempts to convert them to Islam
03/15/2013 LIBYA
Benghazi, the Coptic Church of St. Mark is torched

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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