Muslim community condemns ISIS on day Foley's killer ID'd


by Brooke Hasch

Posted on August 25, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 25 at 4:55 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Leaders throughout Louisville's Islamic community joined together Monday morning, Aug. 25, to condemn the actions of ISIS, a terrorist group that claims to stand by the Islamic faith. On the same day intelligence officials identified the man behind the beheading of American journalist James Foley, a handful of leaders stood outside the River Road Mosque hoping to send the message that ISIS in no way represents anything under the religion of Islam.

"I feel like our religion, the Islamic faith has been hijacked once more. This happened on Sept. 11 and this is another one of those," Haleh Karimi, with the Independent Muslims of Louisville, said.

“This has nothing to do with Islam," Imam Wasif Iqbal, with the Louisville Islamic Center, said.

They’re described as barbaric with cavemen mentalities.

"They are militants. They are definitely extremists. They're terrorists," Karimi said.

Members of the militant extremist group ISIS, also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, use a combination of military expertise and unimaginable brutality, killing unarmed prisoners and civilians alike.

"Their actions did not show any compassion, did not show any mercy. They have nothing to do with our faith," Karimi said.

ISIS has threatened attacks on America, having already committed a deadly attack on an American journalist.

"What happened to him happened to many other people," Ammar Yahfouf, with the Al Zahraa Islamic Center, said.

Video surfaced last Tuesday of the beheading of James Foley. His killer, identified Monday as Abdel Majed, a London rapper turned jihadist, warned President Obama of what's to come if the U.S. continues with its targeted air strikes on ISIS throughout Iraq.

"If we like it or not, America is neck deep in Middle East politics," Siraj Siddiqi, with the Muslim Community Center at Westport Road, said.

ABC News reports the war on ISIS has become the target of the largest U.S. military operation in Iraq and Syria in years.

"If President Obama calls it cancer, you don't take pieces out. You take the whole thing out," Siddiqi said.

Many in the Muslim community believe the U.S. should provide more arms and aid to the local Muslim soldiers and Kurds fighting ISIS. President Obama agreed to a number of air strikes, but has firmly stated that ground forces will not be returning to Iraq.

"Silence is not the solution. We cannot stay on the sidelines. There is a risk of harm, but look at the thousands of people already suffering at their hands," Muhammad Babar, with the Louisville Islamic Center, said.

"Our hearts and sorrow is with the Americans and everyone in empathy and sympathy for those going through hard times. We pray for them and we ask God to bless us all," Iqbal said.