HAMTRAMCK (WWJ) – More than 100 people from a variety of religions and backgrounds gathered in Hamtramck on Friday to denounce recent acts of terrorism.
Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist believers and others joined together to deliver a united message outside City Hall in the Detroit enclave, known for its large Middle Eastern immigrant population.
No religion, they say, condones the murder of innocent civilians.
“Islam does not teach one to kill or hate others. We do not support ISIS and we do not support terrorism,” said Sheikh Abdul Mutallab. “I pray for the family of the victims as if they are my own.”
Pointing out that Muslims are by far the biggest group of victims of ISIS, Mohammad Fakrul Islam said the biggest mistake peaceful citizens make is choosing to stay silent in the face of terrorist threats.
“We have to watch our young brothers and sisters. We have to let them know about ISIS; the bad effects of ISIS. We have to teach them,” said Islam.
Islam and Mutallab, who spoke on behalf of the group “United and Concerned Citizens of Hamtramck,” were just two of more than a dozen speakers — including local political and religious leaders — who took part in the hour-long event.
Hamtramck, once best-known for its Polish heritage, recently made headlines when it elected what’s believed to be the nation’s first Muslim-majority City Council.
Event organizer, Councilman Mohammad Hassan, reiterated that Islam is a religion of peace. After attacks in Paris, France, and San Bernardino, California, Hasan thought it was important to collectively speak out.
Hassan takes issue with simply associating ISIS with Islam.
“They are not Muslims…by the definition,” Hassan told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Jon Hewett. “They are terrorists and we have to destroy them. That’s what I feel.”
Also a focus of the event was the slogan “Love Trumps Trump,” as speakers condemned recent comments by GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, who wants to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.