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Muslim Leader Says MBTA's Response To Prayer Was 'Understandable'

WORCESTER (CBS) - Local Muslims want the public to know their religion does not condone any violence, and clearly not the horror in Orlando. "This barbaric act has no place in Islam," said Tahir Ali during a vigil on the steps of Worcester City Hall.

Members of the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester gathered along with other clergy and political leaders for a public service at the end of a difficult week for the Islamic community.

At the MBTA, anti-Muslim graffiti was discovered in a train. In another instance, guards responded with machine guns to a report of a Muslim couple praying on the Orange Line platform in Medford, after a nervous passenger called security.

Transit Police
Transit Police respond to Muslim couple praying at MBTA station in Medford (Image from Boston Herald)

WBZ security analyst Ed Davis says it's to be expected. "People are nervous, and so we're telling people if they see something unusual to notify police, and we don't want them to stop doing that."

Even some Muslims agree. "The reaction from police is understandable," said Ali, "because they see somebody and they think of it as a threat, so I think we can live with that."

He says not all Muslims pray in public, but some are accustomed to praying whenever they feel the need, wherever they may be at the time.

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