Several Muslim-American leaders reportedly used Friday sermons throughout Southern California to distance their religion from the San Bernardino terror attacks and to call on members of the Muslim community to step up efforts towards giving back to the societies in which they live, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“We have tremendous opportunities in this country…to enjoy the benefits of this democracy and this freedom,” religious advisor Jihad Turk told about 700 people at the Los Angeles-based Islamic Center of Southern California, according to the Times. “But we have responsibility to contribute to the betterment of this world.”
The message of the Muslim community may be shifting from a focus on xenophobia to a focus on good citizenship.
Less than two weeks before Wednesday’s shooting, which left 14 people dead and 17 injured, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) hosted a panel discussion in Los Angeles entitled “Overcoming Xenophobia: Lessons from the Catholic, Mormon & Jewish Experiences.”