Leaders of a Boston mosque reached out to the FBI during the standoff in Watertown. PHOTO: Public Domain
Amidst the tense standoff on Friday night, when Dzhokhar "Jahar" Tsarnaev was hiding under a boat in Watertown, MA, leaders from the local mosque reached out to the FBI. They thought that, as fellow Muslims, Jahar might be more responsive to them than the FBI agents who were trying to coax him out from under the boat.
As for what made the Tsarnaev brothers turn to terrorism, Vali is sure that it has nothing to do with his mosque, because they preach a moderate, peaceful Islam:
"The Islam we project is moderate and it's an American Islam which is the way I understand it and it really respects the cultural and legal contours of America," Vali said."If these guys were Muslim who did this and in the name of Islam I could not recognize them as part of my city or as part of my faith community, that's how I felt."
"They are not mine because it's absolutely disgraceful what they did."
With so many people trying to define radical Islam as the only kind, it's important to remember that Muslims like Vali are the vast majority of Muslims.