Muslim community leaders react to shooting

By Evrod Cassimy - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The reaction many people have after finding out the shooter at Fort Hood is of Muslim descent is similar.

"I'm not surprised," says one Richmond resident.

While the attack was not a terrorist act, members of the Muslim community don't want public opinion of their religion to be associated with such violence.

"Today in Central Florida in Orlando, (a man) went to his former company and shot 6 people," said Muslim community leader, Imad Damaj. "Are we going to question the man's ethnicity, background, religion? Or the young man who shot and killed 30 people in Virginia Tech?"

Damaj is aware of the perception of his community when it comes to acts of terrorism. He wants the public to know his religion does not condone or justify such actions.

"There's no reason to link any community as a whole to anything that is negative," added Damaj. "There is always bad elements in any community. There's always angry elements who don't know how to channel their anger in a positive way but it does not excuse to generalize any community any group of people."

Damaj calls the act cowardly and unprovoked. Like many other Americans, he and other members of the Muslim community are praying for the victims and their families.

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