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.
Nadia Kahf, the chairwoman of CAIR-NJ, skewered what she called unfair coverage of the suspected shooters’ religion, including the New York Post’s cover with the headline “MUSLIM KILLERS.” Only when suspected mass shooters are Muslim, she suggested, is religion such a core part of the story.
Muslim leaders from around New Jersey gathered at Rutgers University Tuesday morning to issue a statement condemning "on the strongest possible terms the barbaric terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in Paris."
"Islam is against terrorism and does not condone or provide any justification, whatsoever, for such despicable acts," the statement said. "There is no cause or injustice done to anyone that can ever justify killing of innocent human beings."
The leaders, most of whom were imams, the religious leaders of their mosques, said their statement also covered the terrorist attacks in Turkey, Beirut, Lebanon and Iraq.