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SWC Statement Regarding " Anti-Islam "Innocence of Muslims"

September 13, 2012

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights NGO deplores the murder of our diplomats and attacks on U.S. embassies across the Middle East.

“We, of course, also deplore any project that defines any religion as inherently evil including the Innocence of Muslims film,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center.
“But we are deeply troubled that the project was initially falsely depicted as a project of an American- Israeli and that the $5 million was raised by 100 Jews,” Cooper continued, adding, “That turns out to be a massive lie.”

Rabbi Cooper also said, “We remain deeply worried that those initial media reports will be used by Islamist extremists to further fan the violent anti-Semitism that is a part of that sub-culture of hate as evidenced by the murder of Jewish school children by Islamist fanatic Mohamed Merah in France last Spring.”

“We need media to ensure that this film does not become another ‘blood libel against’ world Jewry,” said Cooper. He explained that ‘blood libel’ refers to the medieval canard that Jews murder innocent Christians and use their blood for Passover matzah--a lie that brought death and destruction to Jews for centuries. “The anti-Jewish fervor among Islamist extremists is already at murderous pitch. Mohamed Merah's killing of Jewish children in France is just the latest bloody example. We need to ensure that the world knows this film and its message has zero to do with Jews,” he concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.