Sareer Fazili, President of the Islamic Center of Rochester, said, “Our religion is one of peace and one of submission and I think all of our friends in the faith based community know that.” He added: “I’m very shocked, I’m very upset, very disappointed that somebody who claims they follow Islam, the same religion that has been taught for so many years would think that he is within the bounds of our teachings because nothing could be further from the truth.”
He’s shocked? Really? Shocked to hear that someone who professes to be a Muslim would commit an act of violence? Has Sareer Fazili never heard of 9/11? 7/7? The Bali bombing? The Boston Marathon bombing? The Fort Hood massacre? Or any of the thousands of other jihad attacks perpetrated by people who not only profess to be Muslim, but say that when they bomb and kill they are following the teachings of Islam?
It would be one thing to condemn Elfgeeh’s jihad plot, disavow him, etc., but to profess shock strains credulity. It would be refreshing if Fazili had bothered to explain exactly how Elfgeeh was violating the teachings of Islam, but once again, no such luck. Note also that Fazili says that Elfgeeh had never been a member of the Islamic Center. That may be, but it is noteworthy how these devout Muslims — Elfgeeh “tweets about the prophet Muhammad and terrorist groups fighting in the name of Allah” — never seem to go to mosque. Every time there is a jihad attack or plot in the U.S., local Muslims say that no one knew him, he never went to mosque — and yet by their own words these people are fanatically devout and observant.
Anyway, relax: “members of the Islamic Center say these beliefs are foreign and are not what is taught at their center.” Great. So do they teach against these beliefs, which are so widespread as to not really be shocking at all, at the Center? Do they teach young Muslims why they should reject the al Qaeda view of Islam on Qur’anic grounds? Why are there no such programs anywhere? And why does no one ever ask why?
“Local Muslim community speaks out regarding threats against Muslim community,” by Lynette Adams, WHEC.com, June 2, 2014:
A Rochester restaurant owner from Yemen is accused of plotting attacks against U.S. soldiers and local Muslims.
Investigators say their suspect expressed interest in killing soldiers who were returning home and also spoke about hurting members of the Muslim community in western New York.
Mufid Elfgeeh was arrested at the Hudson Avenue Walmart over the weekend. He was in court Monday where he was accused of buying weapons from an informant. He is also the owner of the restaurant MoJoe’s on North Clinton Avenue.
The local Muslim community is speaking out about these threats. Despite the news of Elfgeeh’s arrest and his plans to hurt members of the Muslim community, Muslims in Rochester find it hard to believe Elfgeeh is Muslim.
Sareer Fazili, Islamic Center of Rochester President, said, “Our religion is one of peace and one of submission and I think all of our friends in the faith based community know that.”
Sareer Fazili heads the board that runs the Islamic Center of Rochester. As he heard the details of Mufid Elfgeeh’s arrest, he says nothing could be more disturbing than hearing his claims to practice Islam.
Fazili said, “I’m very shocked, I’m very upset, very disappointed that somebody who claims they follow Islam, the same religion that has been taught for so many years would think that he is within the bounds of our teachings because nothing could be further from the truth.”
Fazili says he does not believe Elfgeeh has ever been a member of the Islamic Center. Beth Al Fayad says it wouldn’t be the first time someone used religion to justify his or her own purpose.
Beth Al Fayad, Rochester Muslim, said, “I think you can find this in any religion. You find people who distort the message to carry on with their own purpose. You saw this during slavery. People used Christianity to justify slavery.”
The Rochester native says she hopes people continue to see Muslims as no different as any other Americans.
Al Fayad said, “We’re proud to be American, I have an American flag hanging outside my door. We love this country and we love being a part of America and part of the Rochester community in particular. We are just as much a staple as any other religious community anywhere else and we’re just trying to go about our lives just like everybody else.”
According to court documents, Elfgeeh tweets about the prophet Muhammad and terrorist groups fighting in the name of Allah, but members of the Islamic Center say these beliefs are foreign and are not what is taught at their center.