The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church issued a statement after its meeting on Wednesday September 12, 2012, condemning the funding and production of the film that insulted Islam and it's prophet saying its release at this specific time is part of a malicious campaign targeting defamation of religions aiming to divide the people, most notably the Egyptian people.
The Holy Synod said that before this film, several western films have insulted Jesus Christ and Christianity in general. It is with deep sorrow felt before by such grievances that the Coptic Church is appalled at such abuse of Islam and Muslims inside and outside of Egypt. It is with great shared pain that the Holy Synod issued the following words:
- First, the defamation of religion, its symbols and teachings is incompatible with Christian values, the teaching of Jesus Christ and the apostles as is demonstrated in the Bible, so those who participate in such a production, display or promotion of such a films should be held fully accountable for operating outside of Christian principles and church laws.
- Second, the defamation of any religion and its symbols is a crime against all humans and should be prevented and addressed by everyone alike.
- Third, those present during the meeting know that Coptic Christians living abroad and belonging to the church have expressed a deep dissatisfaction with this abusive film.
- Fourth, those present during the meeting firmly believe what is mentioned in this statement is a sincere expression of the feelings of all Copts in Egypt and abroad and we strongly reject such offenses. Islam, and Muslims in general, are partners in our nation and humanity.
- Fifth, it is the unity of the Egyptian people – Muslims and Christians – that will enable us to overcome this ordeal with a common expression at all levels to reject this unfortunate event.
- Sixth, this statement is an official media release, communicated to President Mursi and the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb.