Talking Points for Muslim Community on Garland, Texas Shooting

TALKING POINTS

1. Muslims have, and continue to categorically condemn violence committed in the name of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

As Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid has written, "We need to understand this abuse against the Prophet for what it is: a form of psychological violence intended to hurt and harm. Our response when we encounter such attacks must be to seek God’s forgiveness and respond with what is better: prayers on the Prophet and Duas for him." Other Imams in the U.S. and around the world have advised Muslims in a similar manner when other incidents of this nature have occurred.

2. Prior to the May 4, 2015 event, the Dallas Muslim community were advised, and heeded the advice of ignoring the hate mongering of Pamela Geller and her group the American Freedom Defense Institute.

In fact, this was done so effectively that organizers of the Draw Muhammad event could only sell 200 tickets to their exhibit. Most of the attendees were from out of state, according to Garland Mayor Douglas Athas. It is unfortunate that two individuals chose to ignore this and violated both Islamic teachings and state, as well as federal laws by plotting to attack and kill.

3. We the people of faith must counter war-terror-hate cycle with peace-love-respect. We #standwiththeprophet in love and peace, and against hate and terror.

4. Pamela Geller’s group, the New York-based American Freedom Defense Institute, has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

5. On the issue of freedom of speech, we must remember that America has a unique way of upholding free speech, which differs from other Western democracies. For example, while racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan are not banned, culturally, most Americans publicly shun this and other hateful organizations. As well, these groups are not given a voice of authority and legitimacy by the mainstream media through interviews, and seeking out their perspective on issues.

Muslims expect the same from the media when it comes to the American Freedom Defense Institute, which, since 2010, has launched various campaigns spreading hate and intolerance against American Muslims resulting in more than 100 attacks on mosques as documented by ACLU.

It is ethically irresponsible for journalists and editors to give AFDI, a designated hate group, and Pamela Geller, whose litany of hate and deception against Islam and Muslims is well-documented, legitimacy in news reports and pieces on Islam. It is the equivalent of interviewing David Duke of KKK about the recent Baltimore riots.

6. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, established peace and rule of law. This is what Muslims are ordered to follow and respect no matter where they live in the world. This is why the United States Supreme Court in 1935 honored him as one of the greatest lawgivers of the world. He condemned violence and lawlessness, and would bring to justice those who committed them.

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