West Paterson, N.J. — Several Muslim organizations and mosques have taken out advertisements in three New Jersey newspapers to condemn acts of terrorism.
The ads, which featured a banner "Not in the Name of Islam," said the killing of Americans does not represent Islam, just as the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal does not represent America or Christianity.
"No injustice done to Muslims can ever justify the killing of innocent people, and no act of terror will ever serve the cause of Islam," the ad's text read. "We repudiate and disassociate ourselves from any group or individual who commits such brutal and un-Islamic acts."
Waheed Khalid, chairman of the state chapter of the American Muslim Union, said the ads that appeared in newspapers last week were an important statement in the wake of the beheadings of Americans in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
After Paul M. Johnson Jr. was murdered by an extremist group identifying itself as allied with al-Qaida, anti-Muslim signs were posted in his hometown of Eagleswood and the Little Egg Harbor Township home of his sister.
Anti-Muslim graffiti also appeared on a Muslim man's home in Egg Harbor Township and empty bottles and cans were thrown into a Union City mosque.
"The community has tried to explain time and again that when someone commits a crime, an act of violence, it should not be associated by any faith," Khalid said. "But they kept being identified as Islamic terrorists."