PALMDALE — Antelope Valley’s Islamic leaders say terrorists are trying to hijack the religion’s name. Scores of Muslims from two local mosques gathered Friday night at Palmdale’s business intersection to condemn London terror bombings, waving American and British flags and carrying signs that said “Not in our name” and “Terrorists are not jihadists.” “It is the duty of every Muslim in the United States and around the world to show their disdain for terrorists and their actions,” said rally organizer Abdul-Wahab Omeira. Passing motorists honked and waved Friday evening as men in ties, sport shirts and traditional garb, youngsters in baseball caps and women in head scarves and skirts stood along Rancho Vista Boulevard across 10th Street West from the Antelope Valley Mall.
Participants included members of the American Islamic Institute of Antelope Valley in Palmdale and the Islamic Center of North Valley in Lancaster, where the rally had been announced at Friday services. The rally drew non-Muslims as well. Omeira, who is the Muslim chaplain at the state prison in Lancaster as well as a board member of the Lancaster mosque, said the rally was in response to people who ask why Muslims don’t speak out more against terrorism”¦ The Antelope Valley Muslims’ approach is one advocated by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, which launched a petition drive, called “Not in the Name of Islam,” designed to disassociate Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims. (MORE)