Detroit-area Muslims condemned the Islamic State on Monday, charging that the terrorist group that beheaded an American journalist last week did not represent Islam or Muslims.
"The beheading of James Foley . . . is a clear violation of the holy Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad," said Imam Mustapha Elturk, a co-chair of the Imams Council of the Michigan Muslim Community Council, the Detroit Free Press
"ISIS neither represents Islam nor Muslims."
Imam Mohammed Elahi, of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, called ISIS "crazy criminals who are abusing our religion."
"You're a bunch of gangsters . . . you're not Islamic," he said.
About 50 Muslims from the area gathered outside Dearborn City Hall to protest ISIS, the Free Press reports. The event was organized by imams of the Michigan Muslim Community Council and included speakers from both Shia and Sunni sects and leaders of different ethnicities and races.
Foley, 40, of Rochester, N.H., was beheaded Aug. 19 in a gruesome video that ISIS posted on the Internet. He was kidnapped on Nov. 22, 2012, in northern Syria. Foley had earlier been kidnapped and released in Libya.
British intelligence officials have identified the masked terrorist standing next to Foley who beheaded him as former rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, who is said to be known by Islamic State members as "Jihadi John" because of his British accent.
He left his family's home in West London last year to go to Syria and is fighting under the name of Abu Kalashnikov
, news reports say.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday vowed to punish
the Islamic State for Foley's execution, but said that rooting out the group in Iraq and Syria will not be fast or easy.
The United States also began surveillance flights over Syria to identify targets for a potential presidential order to launch airstrikes against ISIS targets in what would be a direct U.S. military intervention in a country embroiled in a three-year civil war.
Obama has been under heavy pressure by Republicans and some Democrats to greatly expand the airstrikes on ISIS in Baghdad and extend them into Syria.
The Monday rally in Michigan followed two protests organized by Shia leaders that hundreds of Muslims attended in Dearborn in June, the Free Press reports.
"ISIS is a terrorist group," said Imam Ali Ali, religious leader of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs, a mosque in Canton. "They don't speak in the name of Islam, in the name of Muslims, in the name of humanity."
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