Hallandale Beach Muslim community feel backlash, distinguish true Islam

HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida Muslim community displayed images of solidarity as they worshipped at a gathering in Hallandale Beach. They hope to show the public the difference between Islam and ISIS.

Many have been gathering in mosques to pray and offer support and help to the families who were affected by the Orlando tragedy.

Most of the Muslims 7News spoke with Monday said that when they woke up, heard the news about the shootings in Orlando and said the first thing they thought was, “Please don’t let him be a Muslim shooter.” They said they are fearful for the backlash that will come from a tragedy where the shooter claims to be affiliated with an organization like ISIS.

7News spoke with one of the leaders of a Hallandale Beach mosque who explained what they go through when an event like this occurs. “They’re questioning whether it is the faith that is making people become radical, and it’s not the faith.” said Dr. Khalid Minhas with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. “Being the followers of this faith, we know this is not the faith. This is the cherry picking of certain verses, and they use this. Their agenda is different.”

A prayer vigil and dinner that was previously scheduled for Sunday night at the mosque suddenly became all too real once they heard about the shooting and the magnitude of the victims. They turned their focus to prayer for the victims of the families in Orlando.

Those in the Muslim community said they have different values from the militant ISIS and do not have anything to do with each other. However, they said that they cannot help but feel some of the backlash. “For us, it’s a double whammy, one that innocent human life is being lost,” Minhas said. “That is as painful as anything else anyway, and on top of that, our faith is brought into the picture.”

Muslim Americans fear that the shootings carried out by shooter Omar Mateen will cast a shadow over a peaceful religion. “We categorically condemn the act of terror against humanity,” Minhas said.

At Minhas’ mosque, they teach peace and even created a campaign to teach and explain true Islam. “The purpose of this campaign is to distinguish true Islamic teachings from what these terrorist organizations are using for their extremist purposes,” he said.

The teaching approach is also being used at the Middle East Fashion store in Plantation, where Amel Yusef and her family give Qurans out for free to customers who are interested in learning about Islam. “Because of ISIS, it’s caused a lot of problems, and it makes it harder on us ’cause now that guy, he’s not here anymore,” Yusef said, “and who’s the ones that have to deal with it? It’s gonna be us.”

To learn more about the campaign and what the true values of Islam is about, go to: http://trueislam.com/home.

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