Niger Islamic Council urges peaceful protests

Associated Press

NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — The Islamic Council of Niger asks Muslims not to attack Christian churches to protest the recent film on the Prophet Muhammad.

In a speech on national television Sunday, condemned the film but urged Muslims to respond with "appeasement and tolerance, the cardinal virtues of Islam."

Niger's religious leader proposed the creation of a confederation that would include representatives of all religions to foster "dialogue ... and peaceful coexistence between religions."

In a separate development, Niger President Issoufou Mahamadou sent a condolence message to U.S. President Barack Obama in which he called "cowardly" the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of U.S. citizens including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Issoufou said that "terrorism must be combated with the utmost vigor."

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