CAIR-AZ Vigil Participants Say Bombers Do Not Represent Islam





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Published on Apr 22, 2013

TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) - Islamic leaders and ASU students held a vigil Sunday evening to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

It was a unified show of support for the city of Boston and condemnation for the act of terror.

"We want to bring attention to the victims and give them justice by showing them the victims and their families do have people across the country and across the world who are really thinking about them," said Neekta Hamidi with the Council of American-Islamic Relations Arizona chapter and Muslim Leaders of America.

Hamidi, an ASU student, helped organize the interfaith vigil at Old Main at Arizona State University.

"Anyone who shares that sympathy for what's going on right now, or who just wants to raise awareness about these acts of terror that are occurring all across the world - I think a lot of people here come here with a heavy heart," she said.

About 100 people attended the candlelight vigil to express their grief and to remind everyone: while the Boston Marathon bombing suspects are Muslim -- they're not a true representation of Islam.

"The person who did this has religious and mental issues, do you know what I mean?" said Saiaf Abdallah with Muslim Leaders of America. "Because if they were strict on their religion, they would know this isn't the way to go about doing things."

He said even blaming a radical faction of a religion would be missing the mark.

"Radicalism implies as if they got it from their religion,"Abdallah points out. "But their religion does not promote or ask for violence. So, it has nothing to do with their religion - it's outside of their religion."

That sentiment was echoed by everyone at the vigil.

"Just like Catholics wouldn't be responsible for any pedophilia that might happen in the Catholic church," said Huthaifa Shqeirat.

Another student, Blake Fraiwald said, "Every religion has their nut jobs, I guess."

Bottom line, they said good in any human category will always trump evil.

"Vigils like this, I believe, they send a message to anyone who wants to perpetrate an act of evil," said Shqeirat. "And, that message is: you are the minority. The good people outnumber you and we always will."

The Council of American-Islamic Relations Arizona chapter and Muslim Leaders of America hold many interfaith events throughout the year.

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