A coalition of Muslim-Americans gathered in Elizabeth yesterday to emphasize that they— and the vast majority of America’s 3-plus million Muslims — condemn the weekend violence that was committed apparently in the name of Islam.
They were speaking in the wake of the capture of Elizabeth resident Ahmad Rahami for planting bombs in New York and New Jersey.
The weekend’s events have ramped up anti-Islamic rhetoric on social media. Such rhetoric is not foreign to Muslims in New Jersey, who have long dealt with intolerance, but especially since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Referring to Rahami, coalition member M. Ali Chaudrry said, “This individual perpetrator of these terrorist acts does not represent Islam or Muslims, in any sense.” He added, “The Islam that we know and practice calls for peace, mercy, love, tolerance and helping others.”
Attorney Hassen Abdellah said the Muslim community in Elizabeth has been embraced by the wider community and by those in local government. He said whatever problems — culminating in a 2010 lawsuit — the Rahami family had with the city had nothing to do with the Muslim community at large.
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