In the Media

01/09/15: Macomb Daily, Michigan- Local Muslims condemn terrorist attacks in France

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Leaders of the southeast Michigan Muslim community condemned the attacks in Paris this week that claimed the lives of 12 persons at the offices of a satirical magazine.

After tense standoffs Friday that involved hostages in two locations, French authorities cornered and killed two brothers they believe were responsible for the slayings at the Charlie Hebdo magazine. A third person who held a hostage in a separate location also was killed.

Prior to that outcome, representatives of the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council denounced the attacks.

“Neither God, nor Muhammad, whom they thought they are defending, nor the overwhelming majority of Muslims, would sanction such a heinous crime,” Imam Mohammed Elahi and Imam Mustapha Elturk said in a joint statement.

“The perpetrators must be brought to justice and face the consequences of their crime against humanity.”

The imams are the religious leaders in the Muslim community in southeast Michigan, including those who reside in Macomb and Oakland counties. Southeast Michigan is home to tens of thousands of Muslims.

Charlie Hebdo magazine, its journalists and cartoonists routinely satirize politics and religion, including the Islamic faith.

The magazine’s depiction, in particular, of the prophet Muhammad as a “terrorist,” angers members of the faith who find the depictions offensive, the imams acknowledged.

But responding with violence is not justified nor sanctioned by Islam, they said.

Quoting the teachings of the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, Imams Elahi and Elturk said: “Good and evil cannot be equal. Repel evil with what is better, and your enemy will become as close as an old and valued friend.”

The religious leaders also implored non-Muslims to resist the temptation to blame all Muslims for the violent acts perpetrated in France.

“We ask all people of conscience not to paint the entire Muslim people with the same brush,” the imams said. “We ask all citizens to refrain from violence and promote peace.

“Neither war nor revenge work for peace. Dialogue is the only way to peace.”

Among its goals is to promote unity and cooperation among the diverse Muslim communities; promote the best Islamic and American values; pursue social justice, improve human relations and uphold human rights in America.