A Christian denominational leader is criticizing "mischaracterizations" of faith and faith leaders in the wake of the possible repercussions of the release of a YouTube video featuring an controversial account of the life of Muhammad, the founder of Islam who is considered by Muslims as a prophet.
"Because of our firm stance throughout our history on issues of religious liberty, we are also repelled by mischaracterizations of the faith of others and their faith leaders," said the Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA.
The video in question includes a portrayal of the prophet Muhammad as a philanderer and child abuser. An attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya on Wednesday led to the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
In addition, many Muslims believe in the prohibition of the creation of visual depictions of Muhammad.
Prior to the assault, protesters demonstrating against the movie "Innocence of Muslims" had gathered outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi where Stevens was located.
"We abhor all forms of violence carried out in the name of faith. Hence we join with other voices in stating our abhorrence at the recent violence in Libya," Rev. Medley said.
The Reverend said people in his denomination had been at the "forefront of building bridges of understanding between Christians and Muslims."
"We join our hearts and prayers with others for all who commit their lives to working for just peace and the common good."