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Imam Benjamin Abdul-Haqq of Washington’s Masjid Muhammad mosque, said identifying as a Muslim is different from acting like one.

“Just because they say they’re Muslim doesn’t make them Muslim,” Abdul-Haqq said at the press conference convened by CAIR and other leading Muslim groups. “These are criminal acts, not religious acts.”

American Muslim leaders have gone to great lengths to stress that their religion does not condone violence and that terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam contradict the faith. Muslim groups appealed to Americans not to rush to judgment and not to lash out at innocent people.

“Every faith has within it heretical elements, and unfortunately some young people will listen to those elements,” said CAIR spokesman Corey Saylor. “What you’re looking at now is a force that is pushing back against that loudly and clearly.”

Make sure to read: President Obama: ‘Americans Refuse To Be Terrorized’ [WATCH]

Muslim Leaders: We Stand Against Terrorism  was originally published on elev8.com

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