Imam Muzammil Siddiqi thought it would be a good time to reiterate his message of peace and tolerance.
As hundreds gathered Friday at the Islamic Center of Orange County in observance of the holy month of Ramadan, Siddiqi devoted his sermon to taking a stand against violence and promoting human values.
"My message is that Islam is the religion of peace," he said before the service. "Islam is the religion of harmony, tolerance and justice for all people."
Likewise, members of the Islamic Center of Irvine heard a similar sermon condemning terrorism and violence during a time when public perception of Islam has faltered. The services in Garden Grove and Irvine were part of a collective effort to promote good will and quash some of the misperceptions about Muslims.
"Ramadan is a time of virtues," Siddiqi said in his sermon. "It is also a time to reflect on the problems of the day. The world is facing grave problems of injustice, greed, moral decay, violence and wars."
Munira Syeda of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Friday's sermons were part of an effort to bring mosques and organizations together to promote a united message.
"This is something that mosques have done individually over the years," Syeda said.
However, individual stances against violence have largely been ignored as the general public believes that mosques are breeding grounds for terrorism, she said. (READ MORE)