After the murders of American diplomats in Libya and continuing protests at American embassies in the Middle East, local Muslims are reacting to the violence.
On Friday, an important day of the week for Muslims, the faithful gathered at a northwest side mosque for prayer. Leaders of the mosque are making it clear that what is happening abroad is unacceptable.
“We feel our religion has been hijacked when people do things like this in the name of Islam,” Saad Mohammed of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City said.
Mohammed is echoing much of what President Barack Obama and Secretary Hilary Clinton have been saying. He is calling the video that is sparking the violence disgusting. But, more importantly, Mohammed says the murders and attacks are even worse.
“Islam teaches us to react to things in a peaceful manner,” Mohammed said. “Just when we think we are doing good outreach and we’re getting the message across, someone does something like this.”
It is frustrating for Muslims who say there are those who assume all Muslims are violent and anti-American. However, most Muslims at the northwest side mosque were born in the United States and are as ardent patriots as their Christian neighbors.
“Born here or not, we are Americans. We’re proud of that,” Mohammed said.
Local Muslim leaders urge those who are confused or struggling over how they feel to pay a mosque a visit and ask questions.
“We try our best to educate people that Islam is a peaceful religion, but you come across a few that it’s just hard to convince them,” Mohammed said.
There are roughly 20,000 Muslims belonging to five mosques throughout the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.