Boston mosque cancels Friday prayer, condemns terrorism

ISBCCCathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY, 4/19/2013

The largest Islamic worship center in New England, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, announced on its website Friday that it was closed until further notice, shortly after it news reports said a young man who had worshiped there was one of the Boston Marathon bombers.

The FBI identified Muslim brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as the bombing suspects. After they killed an MIT campus police officer around midnight Thursday, Tamerlan died in a blazing shootout with police and Dzhokhar eluded capture, triggering a massive manhunt that paralyzed the Boston area Friday. ...

The Cultural Center nor the mosque could be reached for comment. The Center religious leader, Imam Suhaib Webb, a native of Oklahoma, posted on his Facebook page, "We are all Bostonians -we mourn with the city."

The Center website explained: "After the terrible and sad events of last night, the criminal of the bombings on the loose, and the strong recommendations of our Governor, the ISBCC will be closed until further notice."

The site also said the imam recommended that all pray at home rather than attend local mosques. "Please be safe and pray for our city and state," the Web page concluded.

Also on Friday, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement condemning terrorism "in all its forms."

CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said, "We must remain united as a nation as we face those who would carry out such heinous and inexcusable crimes."

His statement concluded with gratitude for "local, state and national law enforcement authorities for their diligence in bringing the perpetrators to justice and offer condolences to the loved ones of the officers killed and injured in efforts to detain the suspect."

The CAIR website lists case by case, year by year examples of consistently condemning any form of terrorism. However, the Islamic community is constantly pressured to react to every situation as if everyone were responsible for every misdeed by anyone of their religion.

According to their website: "Any Muslim who plans, attempts or carries out a terrorist attack would be acting outside the boundaries of his or her faith and would be repudiated and condemned by our community."

Interfaith Alliance president Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy released a statement from the national group saying that any hatred or violence expressed toward Muslims because the brothers were reportedly Muslim would be "against everything we stand for as Americans."

Gaddy said, "Regardless of the religious background or the ethnic origin of the suspects, it says no more about the broader communities from which they come than Timothy McVeigh's actions said about Christians when he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on this very day 18 years ago." (Full article)


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