The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) mourns the loss of life and suffering of the victims of the mass shootings in San Bernardino, CA and Savannah, GA yesterday. We are deeply saddened and shocked beyond words by these tragedies, and we reiterate the commitment of our community to work together with our interfaith, civic group, public policy and law enforcement partners to counter violence and extremism in all of its forms. Islamic tradition is clear that the taking of a single life is the equivalent of the killing of all humanity, and we clearly reiterate and declare that nothing in our authentic texts justifies this type of violence. We unequivocally reject any ideology which promotes that. At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these tragic events, as well as their families and loved ones.
We stand in solidarity with all the people of San Bernardino and Savannah. We firmly and fully support the Muslim leadership of Southern California and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California in their own affirmations that they “join the nation in condemning the senseless violence and mourn the loss of innocent lives.” Our hearts are with all our fellow Americans who are heartbroken by these mindless actions.
We thank local, state and federal law enforcement for their vigilance and willingness to risk their own lives to stop the perpetrators from doing further harm. We urge law enforcement to continue to investigate, and hope justice will be brought to the victims. Additionally, we hope this can become a valuable lesson to safeguard all communities in America and prevent further attacks on any innocent lives. We are devastated to note there have been 355 mass shootings this year alone, and by last week’s terrible mass murder in Colorado. We are equally horrified by the 74 school shootings in an 18 month period from 2012 to 2014, and by the arrest today of 5th Grade students plotting to bomb a high school in Clifton NJ. This must stop. We as a Nation need to come together to address the horrific threat of gun violence we are witnessing.
We believe our mosques, churches, synagogues, temples and other public centers of worshipacross the United States of America are the greatest defense against fringe and extremist ideologies, and they must be protected and secure to do their work for the benefit of our nation. We further believe that the successful engagement of American Muslim communities with our national, state and local, civic group, public policy and law enforcement leadership must continue to grow and be mutually strengthened for the benefit of current and future generations of all Americans.
American Muslims are partners in national security and work closely with law enforcement. Since 2002, ADAMS has been a founder and key member of the FBI Washington Field Office (WFO)’s American Muslim Sikh Advisory Committee. In addition, ADAMS is a National outreach partner with FBI HQ and DHS. We consistently encourage open dialogue and cooperation between the Muslim community and law enforcement, to protect our nation’s safety while safeguarding individual civil rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. ADAMS has hosted several Town Hall meetings with the FBI at our mosque, and had many advisory sessions with the WFO director and field agents, sharing mutual concerns and exploring ways of enhancing and strengthening our cooperation. We intend to continue and expand that outreach, in hopes that we can continue to safeguard the lives and rights of all Americans throughout our great nation, and prevent any further tragedies in the future.