Local Islamic leader: Paris terror attack was cowardly

President of the Universal Education Foundation Islamic Center (UEF) in Fort Wayne, Ind.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A leader of a local Islamic group is speaking out against the violence in Paris.  He says if the terrorists were lashing out on behalf of Islam, that actually goes against all Islamic beliefs.

Dr. Gohar Salam doesn’t know exactly why the gunmen attacked.  But, if it had anything to do with being offended by what the newspaper in Paris was publishing, it doesn’t justify the shooting.

“What has happened there is just a really cowardly attack which was done to seemingly undermine the freedom of speech which we cherish so much in the western society,” Dr. Salam said.

Dr. Salam is a prominent surgeon in Fort Wayne.  He’s also the president of the Universal Education Foundation Islamic Center.  A school Salam started in 2005 to teach students how to be respectful, practicing Muslims.  As well as respect those who practice other religions.  Salam says the attacks in Paris go totally against Islamic beliefs.

“That is not true Islam. Islam is a very peaceful religion. It talks about tolerance, forgiveness. So, even though we love our prophet very dearly and people can say bad things, they can say bad things about other religions and which is not good but that would still not be a justification to kill or harm someone.”

Salam believes better education would protect practicing Muslims from falling victim to terrorist organizations.  As well as informing others on what the Islamic religion is truly about.

“Even these people who are thinking about committing such acts need to be identified at a much earlier stage. They are still a part of society so they are still walking around and living among people and you would think that there should be some signs that people could look into and say yes there is a potential problem here.”

He also told NewsChannel 15 he hopes other practicing Muslims speak out against the violence.

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