Americans are still in shock after a man in New York City killed eight people and injured by plowing a truck into them on a bike path Tuesday.
The suspect, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov of Uzbekistan, appears to have been influenced by radical Islamic terror groups: Law enforcement claim he planned the attack for weeks and left a note in his truck that read "The Islamic State (ISIS) will endure forever." Saipov also lived in Summit County for a short time.
In the wake of the attack, the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent (ISAK) condemned the attack as "a savage act of murder" that does not represent the true beliefs of Islam.
While ISAK President Faheem Shaikh did not know Saipov, he did confirm that he had attended prayers at the mosque at some point, possibly evening prayers, but was not a member. Shaikh noted that the doors are always open to the public for prayers.
Shaikh condemned the attack, saying he was both "disgusted" and "upset." He said the attack did not represent the beliefs of the Muslim community and there are concerns that the community may be the target of threats or hateful comments.
Shaikh said local law enforcement had contacted the mosque about any knowledge regarding Saipov.
The full statement from the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent can be seen below:
The Islamic Society of Akron and Kent is shocked and saddened by yet another wanton and savage act of murder and mayhem perpetrated on innocent people of New York City yesterday. We join all civilized and peaceful people of the nation in condemning this brutal violence in the strongest terms possible. The perpetrator of this heinous act showed no humanity or mercy for his fellow human beings. No religion or community teaches such hate and disregard for human life. No cause justifies murder of innocent people and no community condones such vile acts or intentions. The perpetrator, like other criminal extremists, deserves to be brought to justice.
Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans of all faiths and backgrounds in this time of grief and distress. Together we must face these challenges, grieve and ultimately prevail, including the nascent Uzbek community, that now calls The United States its new home.
Officials from the society will also join members of CAIR-Cleveland (a Muslim civil liberties organization) at a press conference Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to further address yesterday's incident.
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