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.
A purported "expert witness" on Islam known for his anti-Muslim and anti-gay views, and whose claims that he is an ex-Palestinian terrorist have been discredited by news media and other groups, was paid thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to address police at a seminar in Ocean County last week on counter-terrorism.
The appearance Nov. 2 by Walid Shoebat, a Palestinian-American who bills himself as a former Muslim terrorist turned Christian, was attended by more than 60 law enforcement officers from throughout the Jersey Shore and sponsored by the Ocean County Police Academy, the Asbury Park Press has learned.
James R. Sues, the executive director of CAIR-NJ, wrote to Mastronardy before the seminar: “I respectfully request that your academy publicly disassociate itself from this event and that no in service training credit should be offered to any New Jersey law enforcement personnel who attend the event on their own time.