NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — About a dozen imams from mosques in all five of New York City’s boroughs gathered Tuesday to denounce violent extremist acts around the world.
At a news conference on the steps of City Hall, the president of the Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan New York said that Islamic law forbids violent terrorist acts, CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported.
“There are violent extremists who are Muslims, but their acts of terrorism are not Islamic,” Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid said.
Abdur-Rashid also said that his group would start an initiative to combat extremist thinking. The organization is launching a website this week and will use social media to educate Muslims and non-Muslims alike by countering extremist propaganda.
The imam also said that on Friday mosques throughout New York will hold simultaneous sermons denouncing extremism. Abdur-Rashid said next month his group will sponsor open houses at various mosques citywide.
The Leadership Council came together Tuesday as they did after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. This time, they were doing so as the scourge of Islamic State fighters spread their terror and hate throughout the Middle East.
Abdur-Rashid said, 13 years after 9/11, anxieties still exist below the surface in New York, and religions must reach out.
“To those of us who recognize the signs, we still have a lot of healing to do,” he said. “And so one of the things that we’re concerned about is being a part of the solution and not part of the problem.”
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