JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local members of the Muslim community are speaking out against acts of terrorism at the hands of the ISIS, and they are using the Florida Times Union to distinguish the Islamic faith from ISIS ideology.
Sunday's full page ad in the Times Union is entitled, "A Message from your Muslim neighbors, May the peace and blessings of God be upon everyone." One man who helped to take out this ad says this message is critical right now to denounce terrorism, and at the same time spread a message of peace.
"Religion is not to kill people," said Iman Ahmed Ceric, a member of the Muslim community.
Ceric wants Jacksonville residents to know, that billions of Muslims across the world are appalled by the actions of a very small but violent minority. Ceric says he doesn’t consider members of ISIS to be true Muslims, but instead betrayers of humanity who are using religion as a cover for the hatred that they spread.
"They are not Muslims, they don’t have faith in god," Ceric said. "God in any religion does not have the permission to take other people lives.”
In the newspaper message, it writes, here is what Islam teaches us:
"That all of us are created equal, and it is our good deeds that make us better”
“Life is infinitely valuable, and one should not wrongfully take a life."
"Everyone is responsible and held accountable for their own actions."
Ceric, a Bosnian immigrant, who is the leader of the Al Haj Feriz Delkish Mosque said he and other Muslims are proud to be Americans. He said a politician’s recent call to ban all Muslims from the United States temporarily, is a proposal that would only make Muslim/American relations worse.
”It’s terrifying to hear how one of the person who wants to be a leader of democratic America can share that kind of message to that audience, " Ceric said. "Where did he find a right to say all those things?’
The newspaper article ends with a sincere thanks to members of the community, who’ve reached out to Muslim leaders, with understanding and compassion.
The full page ad also wishes everyone a happy holiday season and New Year, it’s unclear how long this message will run in the Times Union.