Imam Talib Shareef, leader of The Nation’s Mosque, Masjid Muhammad, the oldest Muslim community located in the capital of America dating back to the mid 1930s, released the following statement in response to the recent attacks at Garissa University College in Kenya.

We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the people of Kenya and the families of those murdered, and we strongly condemn the criminal, cowardly attacks by the Somali terrorist group, Shabab. We applaud President Obama for committing to continue supporting Kenya in its fight against terrorist. This terrorist attack, which killed nearly 150 students, underscores the need for civilized nations to work together to stop these inhumane desperate terrorist attacks against our humanity.

They are killing innocent human life, people of faith, so it doesn’t matter who the attackers are or what they claim, their actions are criminal, inhumane, and not condoned by Islam, Christianity, Judaism or any of the other beautiful faith communities. Any person, no matter how desperate their situation, no matter how much their hearts are paining because of wrong that has been done to them, whether real or perceived, there is no justification for them to murder and make helpless, vulnerable students, or any innocent humans the target of their terror, their hate or their violence. We must understand that everybody who picks up a gun and says “I’m going to defend my religious cause” is not necessarily an authority in the religion he or she claims. The group’s singling out and separating Christian students from Muslim students, attests to their ignorance of Quranic teachings and Islamic principles.

Islam is Peace, Muslim is Peace, its greetings is Peace, Peace is the dominate aspiration and is always to be sought over aggression. So, their actions are not that of Muslims and despite what they say, they are not the followers of Prophet Muhammad who taught and lived that we are never to the take the life of the innocent, not even the life of a COMBATANT prisoner, so certainly not the life of an innocent noncombatant student. Our prophet taught that we are to respect and protect religious freedom, protect the life and houses of worship for Christians, Jews, and others, that we are to always seek peace over aggression and never be the aggressor, and that we are not to let the hatred of others cause us to swerve from just behavior to criminal behavior. The Holy Qur’an states: O ye who believe! Be upright firmly for Allah (G-d), as witnesses to equity and justice, and let not the enmity and hatred of others cause you to result to criminal behavior and depart from justice. Be just: that is close to G-d. and fear Allah. For Allah is well-aware of what you do.

So, how dare they call themselves representatives of Islam and violate its sacred teachings. It is clear that Shabab, and the likes of them, does not understand the Qur’an, and they don’t understand the teachings of the Prophet (Pbuh), and are therefore acting upon ignorance and violation, and their actions invoke that all, especially Muslims, should stand against them and those who share their thinking.