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Published on May 21, 2009
Taking A Stand: NYC Rabbi, Imam Unite Visible Leaders Shamsi Ali, Marc Schneier Come Together at 96th Street Mosque to Denounce Terrorism
NEW YORK (CBS) ― As we saw after Sept. 11, 2001, the invisible victims of Islamic terrorism are other Muslims, millions of people who are horrified by the thought that some of their own could turn the words of the Quran into a justification for murder.
On Thursday, some of them took a stand against terrorism.
At the 96th Street mosque, there was something you don't see everyday a rabbi and an imam embracing, and then standing together in unity.
"These intended evils must be condemned, and I'm here to condemn it," said Imam Shamsi Ali of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York.
"Any attack on a Jewish religious institution is an attack on any and every religious institution," said Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding.
It was Imam Ali who suggested the joint statement of condemnation. He said the very word "jihad" has been perverted.
"Life in Islam is so sacred, and any individual taking lives is basically taking the lives of all human beings as the holy Quran mentions," Ali said.
No one knows for certain how many Muslims live in America. The United States census doesn't collect data on religious identification, but estimates range from 1 to 8 million.
But a study by Columbia University puts the number of Muslims in New York City at 600,000, many of whom live and work in neighborhoods like one in Brooklyn along Atlantic Avenue.
And whenever something like this happens, the thousands of good, law-abiding, patriotic Muslims worry that once again, the stereotype of a violent Islam is once again being perpetuated.
"We do feel that the coupling of religion and terror in terminology does provide a negative image of the Muslim-American community," said Aliya Latif of the Council on American-Islamic Relations...