Mainstream American Islamic leaders have broadcast the same message since hours after the terrorist attacks five years ago.
“American Muslims utterly condemn the vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians,” said a statement the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued Sept. 11, 2001.
Condemnation of subsequent attacks and plots by Muslim extremists followed. Islamic leaders nationally and in Colorado Springs said their religion stands for peace.
The message may have convinced some people, but several Colorado Springs Muslims and other observers say the perception persists that Islam endorses violence.
“There has been a countereducation campaign against Islam also,” said Arshad Yousufi, spokesman for the Islamic Society of Colorado Springs, the city’s only mosque. “That campaign has been far more vocal.”