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Local Muslim leaders condemn Libya attack

Muslim leaders in the New York metropolitan area joined national advocacy organizations in condemning the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya while criticizing efforts to push a distorted view of their religion and provoke conflict.

The New York chapter of the Muslim Peace Coalition of community advocates in New York City, Long Island and Westchester condemned the assault Tuesday night and called Wednesday for others to join them in rejecting violence and attacks on their religion.

President Barack Obama vowed in a Rose Garden address that the United States would "work with the Libyan government to bring to justice" those who killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American personnel.

Shaik Ubaid, the Westchester-based co-chairman of the coalition, said his organization had sent its message to Muslim organizations abroad to warn against overreacting.

"This was just a very trashy film," Ubaid said of an amateur anti-Islamic movie, parts of which appeared on YouTube and were thought to have provoked the riots in Libya and Egypt. "American Muslims know that people in the American mainstream are not behind this. . . . We are sick and tired of these attacks and provocations, so we are asking Americans in the Jewish and Christian communities to ostracize these extremist elements in their communities."

Seemi Ahmed, an Albertson resident who is co-chairwoman of the coalition, said her organization had also sent its message to Muslims on Long Island. "We want people to know that they shouldn't react to the provocations of Islamophobes," she said.

Faroque Ahmad Khan, a board member of the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury, said Muslims here were horrified at news of the attacks.

"I'm shocked and I'm deeply disappointed and saddened on this attack at the American consulate," Khan said. "We are sorry it happened and express our deep condolences to the families hurt by this."

The Nassau and Suffolk police departments had not made any changes as a result of the Libya attack, representatives of both departments said.

"If we feel it is appropriate, we will deploy our resources accordingly," Suffolk police said in a statement. "However, nothing specific is being done at the moment."

With AP

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