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Local Muslim leaders react to Paris massacre

12 January, 2015 13:38
Local Muslim leaders react to Paris massacre

Local Muslim leaders joined in the chorus of condemnation Wednesday of the attack in Paris. And, a local international relations expert talked to San Diego 6 about the likelihood of a similar attack on American soil.

"There is no way that a true Muslim can commit such an act," said Imam Taha Hassane of the San Diego Islamic Center, the city's largest mosque.

Hassane said what the Paris attackers said about avenging the prophet Muhammad would be rejected by Muhammad himself.

"During his life, he received all kinds of crimes committed against him and his companions and mocking and making jokes of him in front of him and all this stuff and he has never responded in such a brutal way, never," Hassane said.

Though Hassane admitted he finds cartoons making fun of Muhammad distasteful, he said freedom of speech must be respected. On the other hand, he said what he called needless provocation should be avoided.

"I believe that there are limits," he said. "Do not go provoke the entire community by insulting their religious figures and expect nothing to come from some of the extremists in that community."

"That's stunning, that's life changing for people living in Paris," said Eli Berman, professor of economics at UC San Diego.

Berman is also the research director for international security studies at the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. He said when you look at what's been happening with global conflict lately, the horrific attack in Paris is not entirely surprising.

"There's now a kind of rotation of amateur jihadists, if you will, who leave Europe and come home trained and they're capable of doing these things," Berman said. 

But Berman also said that since 9/11, such an attack is less likely here in the U.S. "What protects us now is that people with those profiles coming across the border we can quickly identify, and if there's no reason to pick them up, you can at least monitor their activities."

But what about the larger problem? What can be done to try and stop these attacks from happening in the future? Imam Hassane said it all boils down to education.

"They have to work on their own communities, educating the youth within their communities about the true image and the true meaning and the true sense of Islam," he said. 

Imam Hassane also said the Muslim community worldwide needs the help of non-Muslims to stem Islamophobia. Because, he said, that will only lead to more extremism among some Muslims

source:Source : sandiego

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Local Muslim leaders react to Paris massacre
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