From The Denver Post
By Natalie Munio
Colorado Muslim community leaders stood together recently to publicly condemn acts of violence in the name of Islam.
One by one, community leaders from centers and mosques across the state spoke at the Colorado Muslim Society to denounce any “misconstrued truth” that Islam promotes violence and to express sorrow the Orlando massacre happened during Ramadan, a time marked by fasting and prayer.
“When we have an impostor who says he’s Muslim and during the month of Ramadan — it’s our obligation to address it,” said Abdur-Rahim Ali imam at the Northeast Denver Islamic Center, speaking of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12. "This is a tragedy for America and we’re a part of the American people. We’re obligated to address it and stand against it together as Americans.”
The religious leaders were somber as they grieved for those who died Sunday. And they were frustrated to again hear the word “Muslim” paired in sentences with the words “violence” and “terror.” They vowed to continue working tirelessly to change that impression.
Shems Adeen Ben-Masaud, imam and religious director for the Metro Denver North Islamic Center, said the Muslim community is “united in the condemnation of hate and violence” and the “loss of human life regardless of what religion, belief or sickness drives it.”
Ben-Masaud urged the public to remember the loss of one of the religion’s most famous followers, Olympic boxer Muhammad Ali, who died June 3.
“What he stood for was American Islam, not the terrorist cowards who take lives,” Ben-Masaud said. “That’s why he promoted justice and peace and human life, because that’s what Islam stands for. And we stand against those who stand for violence, bigotry and terrorism.”
Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz said the LGBTQ and Muslim communities are “experiencing a historical day none of us want to experience.”
“It’s important we think about what terrorism is and what it is not — it is not just the incident itself but the future impacts it has. It’s about creating fear and divisiveness,” Metz said. “Don’t allow the monster who took lives ... to continue to create fear, hatred and division.”