Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said Friday (September 14th) the United States was not responsible for an anti-Islam film that sparked violent protests across the region, calling for demonstrations to remain peaceful.
In a letter to the New York Times, the Brotherhood's deputy leader Khairat el-Shater said Egyptians have the right to protest the offensive Internet video but that the storming of the US embassy in Cairo was "illegal".
"Despite our resentment of the continued appearance of productions like the anti-Muslim film that led to the current violence, we do not hold the American government or its citizens responsible for acts of the few that abuse the laws protecting freedom of expression," el-Shater wrote in the letter.
"In a new democratic Egypt, Egyptians earned the right to voice their anger over such issues, and they expect their government to uphold and protect their right to do so," he said.
However, they should do so peacefully and within the bounds of the law, he added. "The breach of the United States Embassy premises by Egyptian protesters is illegal under international law. The failure of the police force to protect it has to be investigated."
On Tuesday, an angry mob scaled the embassy walls and tore down a US flag, replacing it with a black Islamist one.
El-Shater expressed his "condolences to the American people" over the killing of US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in an assault on the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi during similar protests.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has condemned the film, while calling on Egyptians to keep their protests peaceful.
Also on Friday, the Muslim Brotherhood withdrew calls for nationwide protests in response to the film, saying they would instead participate in a "symbolic" demonstration.