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Md. Muslims Say Anti-American Violence In Middle East Does Not Represent Islam

WOODLAWN, Md. (WJZ)— Speaking out. As the bodies of four Americans return to U.S. soil, Maryland's Muslim community responds to the violence exploding in the Middle East.

Kai Jackson reports.

As America mourns the deaths of a U.S. ambassador and three embassy workers in Libya, greater attention is being focused on new violence.

There are protests around the world targeting other U.S. embassies. The discord centers on an Internet film that disparages Islam.  It was made by an American.

"Islam does not support extremism," said Dr. Hasan Jalisi, Maryland Muslim Council member.

At the Islamic Society of Baltimore in Woodlawn, members of the Maryland Muslim Council stand in solidarity and issue a united message that violence taking place abroad are the acts of extremists--terrorists, who the Muslim Council says do not represent Islam.

"Sometimes it's better to not show your outrage. And it's definitely not right to show it with violence. Islam doesn't allow it," Jalisi said.

Protests have taken place in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen. Security forces in those areas have clashed with demonstrators.

The Maryland Muslim Council says it understands the frustration and anger of protesters,but the group says violence is wrong.

"Islam is playing as much a role in their lives in my view as Christianity was playing in Timothy McVeigh's life. And I feel surprised and sorry and sad when people equate these violent people with anything which Islam may have taught," Jalisi said.

The Maryland Muslim Council believes that out of the tragedy of anti-American violence, there's an opportunity to remind people those who truly practice Islam are peaceful.

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