Moore Police revealed Friday the man accused of beheading a female coworker at a food distribution plant had recently converted to Islam.
The local Muslim community said they are sickened over the tragedy and want to clarify any misrepresentations about their faith.
“If he believed in his sick and twisted mind that the faith was a motivator, then he’s absolutely wrong,” said Adam Soltani, the executive director of Oklahoma’s Council on American Islamic Relations or CAIR.
CAIR said it condemns Alton Nolen in the strongest terms and that their faith does not support his alleged actions.
“Anyone can interpret things as they will, but our faith is clear and Islam stands clearly opposed to violence in any kind and in no way could or faith ever support the actions of this man,” Soltani told News 9.
Soltani said his organization views Nolen as an extremist and pointed out that he has a criminal past that demonstrates violence.
“It’s tragic that somebody who claims to be Muslim would commit such an inhumane and barbaric action, but the actions of one person do not represent the whole and definitely the actions of this man do not represent the faith teachings of Islam at all,” Soltani said.
CAIR leaders said the actions of one person should not reflect the 40,000 Muslims who live peacefully in Oklahoma.
“Definitely, there is no way the faith itself could have been a motivator for this man’s actions,” Soltani explained.
Soltani said his organization does not know Nolen and currently, they are not sure where he learned about his Islamic beliefs.