New Jersey Muslim leaders gather in Elizabeth to condemn recent bombings

Source: Yahoo News

By Caitlin Dickson

ELIZABETH, N.J. — Nawaz Sheikh, president of the Muslim Community Center of Union County, says he never knew bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami, though his father, Mohammad, has been a regular at the Elizabeth mosque for years.

“His father was our member, he attended the mosque on a normal basis,” Sheikh told reporters at a press conference outside Elizabeth City Hall on Tuesday.

Sheikh and several other Muslim leaders from Elizabeth and other parts of New Jersey gathered here to condemn the bombings that took place in New York City and Seaside Park, N.J., over the weekend, and to emphasize that violence is not condoned by the Muslim faith.

“In Elizabeth, which is our city, we don’t have a radical Islamic problem,” said Hassem Abdellah, president of the Darul Islam mosque in Elizabeth.And we don’t have imams who teach radical Islam. So it was important to us that the country understand that in our city, we have law-abiding Muslims who love America, who serve in the military, who go to schools, who are police officers and law enforcement.”

Mohammad Ali Chaudry, president of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, talked about how the local Muslim community rallied to help in the hunt for Rahami, who was taken into FBI custody after a shootout with police officers in Linden, N.J., on Monday.

“I sent out an email about a little bit after 9 o’clock, once we saw the picture, to over 100 organizations that are a part of the New Jersey Muslim Coalition,” he said “We immediately felt that we needed to get every member of our community to play a part in helping law enforcement.”

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