JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Cynthia Elfasi heard the news Tuesday night. "My first thought was that this isn't possible," said the Libyan-American, who now lives on the Southside of Jacksonville.
Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three staffers were killed, in an attack on the U.S. Consulate office in Libya. "This couldn't be happening," said Elfasi. "This is new Libya."
Gunmen charged the consulate and set fire to the building. They were reportedly upset about an American film they say ridiculed the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.
Elfasi also opposes the film. She said, "I am not for the film. No religious personality, no religion should be mocked or portrayed in a wrong way."
But she does not condone the deadly attack. She called it embarrassing. Action News asked her why. She replied, "Because in the news it's just going to be Libya. It's not going to be x,y,z who did this. It's not going to be the individual. It's going to be the whole people, and that's not fair."
Elfasi says Libyans are not extremists. And she worries the acts of a few have cast a dark shadow on an otherwise peaceful people, in a country she once called home. "If we love the prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, we should practice what he preached. And that's being peaceful and if you need to say something you say it peacefully."
The Islamic Center of Northeast Florida is also speaking out, condemning the killing of American diplomats in Libya and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt. In a statement released Wednesday, the largest Muslim congregation in our area said, "Those resorting to violence to purportedly save Islam's honor are terribly misguided and must be brought to justice."