Local Islamic society condemns terrorist acts

Local Muslims react to the terror-related incidents in Minnesota, NYC and NJ on September 19, 2016. (WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — No matter where terrorism takes place, the effects are felt across the entire country.

That includes here in Indianapolis at the Islamic Society of North America’s headquarters.

They said every act of terrorism puts them another step backwards in their effort to promote themselves as people of a peaceful religion.

“As Muslims and as Americans, we’re horrified and outraged at these acts of terrorism,” ISNA Secretary General, Hazem Bata said.

He anticipated questions after learning about potential terrorist acts in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey.

“We condemn it like any other American would, and there’s no reason for anyone to think we would do anything other than condemn it,” he said.

He said they will always condemn acts of terrorism and hopes for a day when the public won’t feel the need to ask.

“Why would people suspect us of approving of terrorism?,” he said, “No other group has to do that, why are we not given the assumption that we’re peaceful and law abiding?”

His job is educating the public about his religion.

He gets frustrated when these acts of terrorism take Muslims a step backwards in their efforts.

“Less than five percent of terrorism in America is committed by Muslims,” he said, “It makes our job a lot harder and it seems like whenever a Muslim commits a crime, the entire group is blamed.”

He wants people to know the impact of the negative perception of Muslims.

“I know several people personally who have kids whose name is Ahmad, it’s also the name of the suspect that was just arrested. They kept their kids home from school because they expected a backlash against their kids,” he said.

He hopes that in time, outreach efforts will change the public’s perception.

Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at CentralĀ Library in Indianapolis there will be a discussion called “American Muslims in Indiana.”

It’s free and open to the public.

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