Religion Today Daily Headlines - September 13, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - September 13, 2012

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • U.S. Ambassador to Libya Killed in Consulate Attack by Muslim Rioters
  • 'Is This an Act of War?' Obama Turns His Back on Question About Libyan Attack
  • Clinton: 'How Can This Happen in a Country We Helped Liberate?'
  • White House Denies Snubbing Israeli Prime Minister


U.S. Ambassador to Libya Killed in Consulate Attack by Muslim Rioters

The U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in an assault on the American consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday by protesters angry about an online film considered offensive to Islam. Stevens is the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in an attack since 1979. The mob that stormed the consulate with guns and rocket-propelled grenades -- burning, ransacking and badly damaging it -- were allegedly furious about a 14-minute YouTube video ridiculing Mohammed produced by an Israeli-American real estate developer living in California, according the Wall Street Journal. The U.S. Embassy in Egypt was also attacked Tuesday in response to the film. President Barack Obama called the attack "outrageous" and said, "Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton identified a second victim as Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer who was a 10-year veteran of the State Department, a husband and a father of two. The other two victims have not been named.

'Is This an Act of War?' Obama Turns His Back on Question About Libyan Attack

President Barack Obama took no questions Wednesday at a White House press conference on the attacks in Libya in which U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens as well as three other Americans were killed, walking away as a reporter asked, "Is this an act of war?" Obama, flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said: "The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. I've also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake -- we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. ... Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that accepts all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence -- none. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. Many Libyans have joined us in doing so." He added that "this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya."

Clinton: 'How Can This Happen in a Country We Helped Liberate?'

One year ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed the revolution taking place in Libya, saying, "All of us are inspired by what is happening in Libya." Today, the day after the September 11 attacks in Egypt and Libya in which the U.S. ambassador was killed, Clinton said she was asking herself how it could have happened, reports. "How can this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city [Benghazi] we helped save from destruction?" Clinton said at the State Department, adding that question "reflects how complicated, and at times, how confounding the world can be." She went on to say: "This was an attack by a small and savage group. Not the people or government of Libya. ... The friendship between our countries, borne out of shared struggle, will not be another casualty of this attack. A free and stable Libya is still in America's interest and security, and we will not turn our back on that, nor will we rest until those responsible for these attacks are found and brought to justice. We are working closely with the Libyan authorities to move swiftly and surely."

White House Denies Snubbing Israeli Prime Minister

The White House has denied reports that President Obama refuses to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly later this month, according to CBN News. Multiple Israeli newspapers reported that Netanyahu asked to meet with Obama, but the White House allegedly said the president was too busy and would not be in the city during that time. However, administration officials say such reports are untrue. "Contrary to reports in the press, there was never a request for Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet with President Obama in Washington, nor was a request for a meeting ever denied," the White House said in a statement. Meanwhile, Netanyahu -- who has met with Obama on all his U.S. trips since 2009 -- has criticized Washington's refusal to give details of what would provoke a U.S.-led military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. "Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," Netanyahu said. He added that peaceful methods are not working and Iran is getting closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon, comments that generated more speculation about Israel planning an attack of its own.

Publication date: September 13, 2012