In the Media

01/09/15: Channel 7- Detroit: Local Imam addresses terror attacks in Paris, condemns them as senseless

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DEARBORN HEIGHTS (WXYZ) - A local Islamic leader is speaking out about this week's terror attacks in Paris.

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights said such acts of violence hurt the image and message of Islam.

"They are not jihadists, they're a bunch of jerks," the Imam said of the two brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, who carried out the deadly attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper in Paris.

"We feel sad because then our faith is under fire our faith is under attack," Imam Elahi said after his sermon. "These guys have nothing to do with Islam. That was a stupid act by stupid individuals who were brainwashed," he added.

Unfortunately, Imam Elahi said, the misunderstanding of Islam - or "Islamaphobia" - is a reality many face even in Dearborn, home to the biggest population of Arab Muslims in North America. He said it will take informed dialogue to break the barriers of that misunderstanding and that the responsibility not only rests with Muslims but also the greater community.

The Islamic House of Wisdom is located at 22575 Ann Arbor Trail in Dearborn Heights.