CAIRO - As Boston police announced capturing the second suspect in Boston Marathon bombing, leaders of American Muslim community said they stand against terrorism committed in the name of Islam, urging fellow Americans not to scapegoat innocent people.
We will never allow ourselves to be hijacked by this attempt, Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a news conference held on Friday afternoon, April 19, The Washington Post reported.
We will not allow the perception to be that there is any religion in the world that condones the taking of innocent life.
Twin bombings rocked Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, killing at least three people and injured scores.
The teenage suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is in custody after being found hiding in a boat in a suburban homeowner's backyard.
Police said they exchanged gunfire with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, after cornering him in Watertown, near Boston.
Bomb-squad vans and ambulances surrounded the house, while helicopters buzzed overhead.
Later on, police told journalists that the suspect was being treated at a Massachusetts hospital, bleeding and seriously injured with gunshot wounds to the neck and leg.
He had escaped on foot early on Friday, apparently wounded, after a police shootout that claimed the life of his elder brother, an alleged accomplice.
American Muslim leaders stressed that their religion does not condone violence and that terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam contradict the faith.
Just because they say they're Muslim doesn't make them Muslim, Imam Benjamin Abdul-Haqq of Washington's Masjid Muhammad mosque, said at the press conference convened by CAIR and other leading Muslim groups.
These are criminal acts, not religious acts.
Along with Muslim leaders from CAIR, the news conference was also attended by the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Islamic Society of North America and other groups which expressed frustration that they are once again being forced to defend their faith against the actions of extremists.
As a Muslim American community, we should not be held accountable for the acts of any individual, said Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America.
Muslim groups appealed to Americans not to rush to judgment and not to lash out at innocent people.
Every faith has within it heretical elements, and unfortunately some young people will listen to those elements, said CAIR spokesman Corey Saylor.
What you're looking at now is a force that is pushing back against that loudly and clearly.
Farhana Khera, Muslim Advocates executive director, also urged Americans to reject scapegoating groups based on their racial, ethnic or religious identity.
We strongly urge all Americans to reject scapegoating groups or targeting innocent Americans based on their racial, ethnic or religious identity, Khera said in a public statement cited by Politico website.
Linda Sarsour, the national advocacy director of the National Network for Arab American Communities, said that an attack on one is an attack on all.
The Arab American community stands in solidarity with the people of Boston and all Americans, Sarsour said in a public statement.
We hope the takeaway from this tragic event is to deepen our relationships as Americans and protect each other from senseless hate-filled attacks.
An attack on one is an attack on us all.
Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to from 7-8 million Muslims.
An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.
Since the 9/11 attacks on the United States, many Muslims have complained of facing discrimination and stereotypes in the society because of their Islamic attires or identities.