The country’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization on Thursday condemned the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, while at the same time urging Americans to not jump to conclusions that the attack was the result of radical Islamic terrorism.
Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, spoke at the Islamic Center of Jersey City, where he was joined by more than two dozen New Jersey Muslims, interfaith leaders and local politicians. The group had initially gathered to denounce Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s repeated claims that Muslims in the state celebrated the 9/11 terror attacks. Read More
“I assure my fellow Americans that the American Muslims are like every American,” said Nihad Awad.
Standing side by side with jersey city leaders, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for an end to rhetoric, he says, stirs anti-Muslim sentiments.
“Donald Trump has made vicious and unfounded claims against the American Muslim community,” Awad said.
He’s referring to the GOP presidential front runners remarks at a campaign rally. Trump called for surveillance of certain U.S.
“You have to separate the individual from the belief. You cannot paint all Muslims with the same brush,” said Nadia Kahf. Read More
With the gathering, at an evening meal known as Iftar, Mr. Christie opened what Muslim leaders recall as a period of exceptional warmth between the state’s sizable Muslim community and a prominent Republican. The governor became a fierce defender of local Muslims, rebuking his party in forceful terms for its hostility to a proposed Islamic center in Manhattan, and denouncing what he called “the crazies” on the right for attacking a Muslim lawyer Mr. Christie had selected for a judgeship.
But as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination half a decade later, Mr. Christie’s ties to Muslim leaders in New Jersey have grown deeply strained. The governor has recast himself as a relentless warrior against terrorism, with little patience for what he calls “politically correct” national security policy.
The Council on American Islamic Relations, a national advocacy organization that identified Mr. Christie in a 2013 report as an exemplary Republican, has condemned the governor for his comments on refugees. Jim Sues, director of the group’s New Jersey affiliate, said in an interview that Mr. Christie had helped cast “a shadow of suspicion and fear over all Muslims.” Read More