Baton Rouge Islamic leaders condemn attacks in Chattanooga

Baton Rouge Islamic leaders condemn attacks in Chattanooga

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Leaders of the Islamic community of Baton Rouge strongly condemned Thursday's attacks in Chattanooga that left four Marines dead.

"What happened yesterday does not represent Islam," said Emad Nofal, the chair of the Islamic Center of Baton Rouge.

The suspect behind the attacks is Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, a 24-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Kuwait.

The shooting spree fell on one of the final days of Ramadan.

"It ruined our day of festivity today," said Nofal. "We celebrated the day of Ramadan which is usually a day of joy, of happiness and that event took over and we had to be effected out of concern out of disbelief."

"It is a tragedy to all of us, and it should have never happened," said Abdelmajid Mokhtari, the Imam at the Islamic Center.

The leaders said the suspect was not following Islamic teachings and disrespected the religion.

They also condemn groups like the Islamic State as not practicing true Islam.

"Islam is all about peace, love respect, trust, and unity," Mokhtari said.

To combat ISIS, which is infiltrating the U.S. through websites and social media, Nofal said they are doing all possible at the center to instill those good virtues in the community.

"We're just like everybody else, we have to rely on the efforts of the government to stop that," Nofal said. "And on our end, we teach a good message of Islam, a message of peace, message of love, messages of not hurting anybody, and a message of care."

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