Dallas vigil honors slain U.S. diplomats

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by WENDY CORONA

WFAA

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Updated Sunday, Sep 16 at 5:24 PM

DALLAS — More than 75 members of the Dallas-area Muslim community held a candlelight vigil Saturday night in honor of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other Americans killed earlier this week during an attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Organizers of the vigil said the acts of a few Muslims are horrific, and do not represent them and their religion.

"This is not Islam; this is not who we are," said Muslim-American Zainah Asfoor. "We are against violence."

Abdullah Shawky, who helped organize the event, agreed. "Revenge and retaliation are not any attributes that are associated with any religion that I know of — especially Islam," he said, adding: "This crowd may be small, but the message is larger than this crowd."

While participants agreed that the 14-minute film that touched off the worldwide protests is offensive to Muslims, they said igniting mob violence against U.S. embassies in the Middle East and around the world is not the way of Islam.

Shawky said he believes misconceptions overseas led to unnecessary actions. "They understand we have freedom of speech, but not that freedom of speech comes with no attachments," he said.

The event took place at the Belo Garden across from the Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas.

E-mail wcorona@wfaa.com

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