Many people were angry after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that took at least 129 lives.
Ashhar Madni, vice president of the board of trustees for the local Al Salam Foundation, said the Islamic community is angrier than anyone else.
“We’re twice as mad,” he said. “We’re angry like anyone else because these are horrible attacks against innocent people who died, but we’re also angry because these attacks were carried out in the name of our faith.”
Madni said he wants to emphasize that these terrorists do not represent his religion.
“We condemn such attacks on innocent people. It does not represent Islam or any faith for that matter,” he said.
Currently, the Al Salam Foundation is renting a space at 96th Street and Michigan Road, but the organization is planning on building an Islamic center at 146th Street and Ditch Road in Carmel. The land has been purchased but plans are still preliminary and a proposal could be brought to the city in 2016.
Madni, who sits on the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Human Relations in Carmel, said he hopes people will look at all viewpoints in the wake of the tragedy. For example, he said he understands concerns about national security, but he said he trusts the U.S. screening process so he believes Syrian refugees should not be turned away.
“If you see it from the fugitive side, they are facing the same kind of persecution from these terrorists that others are facing,” he said. “It does not go well with the spirit of the nation.”