US embassy guards in Egypt's capital city Cairo have opened fire at angry Egyptians who had gathered to protest an anti-Islam movie made in the United States.
The incident occurred on Tuesday after thousands of Egyptians held a mass demonstration outside the US embassy in the capital.
The anti-Islam movie criticizes Islam's Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
The protesters scaled the walls of the embassy, pulled down the US flag, and called for the expulsion of the US ambassador to Cairo.
They also asked the US government to apologize to the Muslim world over the release of the movie produced by expatriate members of Egypt's Christian minority resident in the US.
Meanwhile, protests against the US film turned violent in Libya leaving casualties in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharef said one staff member of the US consulate was killed and a security guard was injured during clashes at the consulate building.
Witnesses said protesters attacked and set fire to the consulate building while gunmen and security forces clashed. Rocket-propelled grenades were also fired at the US consulate.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Abdul Alim Musa, Imam of Masjid al-Islam, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Mr. Musa, first of all what do you think the repercussions of such a rising wave of Islamophobia would be?
Well first of all remember from the United States who is speaking with experience, our main enemies here are the Americans, they use their military against us. Then it is the Zionist, they use the media perception management. Then the Saudi Arabians who use their wealth and power and influence amongst Muslims.
This is clearly a Zionist attack, continues its Zionist attack on Islam and on Muslims and it is done at the 9/11 period in order to adjust what is called perception management. In other words when these people come out against Islam and us, we should choose our time and place of the battle. Therefore we should have institutions ready here inside the West and outside to challenge Zionism on our terms and in our way.
So here is what their goal was; perception management was to air this program a few days ago, let the heat build up and by today September the 11th the people would come out and they would challenge the US position.
The American people and the Western people need to be educated. So we should use these opportunities to fight the battle against ignorance and oppression in our own time and our own way.
What they have done here is used perception management. The American people would think all these people attacked our embassy. Well the American embassy needs to be attacked, the American policy needs to be attacked, it needs to be challenged. I say let’s challenge it in our own time, in our own way.
The second point is this. The enemies of Islam, the Israelis, the Americans and the Saudis are not going to stop the war against us. It will be an ongoing, continuous war calling for longevity and the ability to hold on over long periods of time. Therefore I believe we should choose our time and our place and our method of confrontation and challenge.
Indeed. The screening of this film, I mean how do you relate it with the fact that it was coincided with the 9/11 anniversary?
That was a purpose like if you notice the other, let’s say the Salman Rushdie affair, this was back in 89. Okay, this is specifically done, why? They gave Salman Rushdie 820,000 pounds, that is a million and half dollars in those days before even he wrote the book, why? To produce anxiety amongst the Muslims. But what happened was it backfired. It backfired and Muslims came to Islam and grows.
And what is happening here in America, this continuous Islamophobia has caused the Muslims to live in a state of fear and anxiety but it is forcing them back to Islam.
This Eid some places had three, four even five Eid prayers. The night prayers were full of people this year especially. So the Muslims are responding properly to this open attack and this attack was timed so we would respond right on or around 9/11.
Again I say we should choose our time and our method of challenge and response to these criminal people.