NJ Muslims: Terror plots against non Muslims "would do long term damage to us if this keeps happening" "gives us a black eye"
May 16, 2007
MIM: Forget about terrorism being bad because it kills and maims people. That notion is held by non Muslims who have not yet understood that Islam is actually a religion of peace and a "mercy to all mankind. Muslims who understand their religion dont have a problem with terrroism causing death and destruction but because it is a bad public relations move; As Dr. Makbul Kureshi explained after a mosque service aimed at distancing themselves from the terrorists who we are told "do not practice Islam right".
"I think it would do long-term damage to us if this keeps happening,"..."This is a black mark. It gives us a black eye."
According to Mohammad Nasim, 18, a student at Cherry Hill High School West the only problem with terrorism is if it has a negative effect on Muslims and non Muslims only fit into the equation if they do get hurt and result in people making a connection between Islam and violence. Nasim says he would like to tell the terrorist that:
'It (terrorism) gives us a black eye'
By BILL DUHART
Standing outside the Islamic Center of South Jersey after midday prayer service on Friday, Majid Kureshi had something he wanted to get off his chest.
"I'm glad those guys are behind bars," said Kureshi, 26, talking about six men charged in a domestic terrorism plot, three of whom worshipped at the center. "How would you feel if you invited a guest into your home and they committed a crime against your neighbors? We don't want these types of people coming to our mosque. They have completely artificial beliefs about the religion that have nothing to do with the faith at all."
Kureshi, an Ivy League student and high school lacrosse coach from Moorestown, was among about 75 worshippers who attended midday service and heard mosque leaders condemn three former members, Shain, Eljvir and Dritan Duka, all of Cherry Hill, who were regulars at Friday prayer here. The Dukas, Mohamad Shnewer of Cherry Hill, Agron Abdullahu of Buena Vista and Serder Tatar of Philadelphia were charged Tuesday in a plot to attack Fort Dix military reserve to kill soldiers.
Kureshi said he doesn't get to attend as many prayer services as he has in the past but made a point of being here on Friday. He wanted to make sure the right message was delivered, he said, as he proudly wore a T-shirt with an American flag logo, and small flag pin.
"Some Muslims do not practice Islam right," Ismail Badat, a trustee and senior leader of the mosque said in a sermon before afternoon prayer. "We are all Americans. We come from different parts of the world but we are all part of the same society now. We condemn terrorism, no doubt about it."
Dozens of men sat crossed-legged on a fluffy carpet in front of Badat, who spoke from the pulpit. Women in the congregation attended the service in a balcony above the large, open floor. The archways in this former church were inlaid with a tile design. Sparkling chandeliers highlighted the air-conditioned room. All sat without shoes, according to religious decorum.
After the sermon and prayer calls, Noor Mohammad, another mosque leader, ended the services with this message: "We are peace loving people."
Afterward mosque members admitted that incidents like the thwarted Fort Dix plot and the 9/11 attacks make it difficult get through to some who think Islam fosters radicals.
"I think it would do long-term damage to us if this keeps happening," said Dr. Makbul Kureshi, Majid's father, who also attended the service. "This is a black mark. It gives us a black eye."
The Islamic Center has been here for 15 years, members proudly said, and enjoys good relations with neighbors here in this small bedroom community.
Mohammad Nasim, 18, a student at Cherry Hill High School West where four of the six suspects in the plot attended high school, said if he had a chance to speak to the accused now he would simply say, "Your actions were wrong and you distorted the name of our religion. You acted selfishly and didn't think about your family or community."