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IONA Mourns The Killing Of 21 Coptic Christians In Libya

Tonight, Ameer Mustapha Elturk, Imam and President of IONA, joined a diverse group of clergy and community leaders offering condolences on his behalf and on behalf of the Imams Council as well as the Muslim community at large, on the killing of the twenty one Coptic Christians by the extremist group ISIS in Libya.
Imam Elturk assured Father Mina Essak, the head priest of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Troy, MI, and the Egyptian Coptic community, that Muslims are in solidarity with them and that Muslims are committed to working with all people of conscience to fighting extremism, hatred, bigotry and violence.
“As you know, there is a special place for Christians in Islam as the People of the Book. In no way do the actions of such misguided, so-called Muslims who commit atrocities such as beheading and burning people represent Islamic teachings,” Imam Elturk said, while addressing the audience at the vigil.
He continued, “Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, allowed the Christians of Najran to worship in his mosque. Omar bin al-Khattab, the second successor to the Prophet Muhammad, refused to offer prayer in the Holy Sepulchre Christian church in Jerusalem when Patriarch Sophronius invited Omar to pray inside the church, for fear that the Muslims would turn it into a mosque. The early teachings and experiences reveal the true spirit of Islam.”
Clergy from different faith traditions and denominations as well as community leaders shared their grief on the loss of the twenty one souls, echoing each other on the message of love and forgiveness taught by Jesus.
Imam Elturk prayed for the families of the victims and for peace. He concluded his remarks by quoting the verse from the holy Qur’an, “To God we belong and to Him is our return.”
IONA, 28630 Ryan Rd., Warren, MI 48092 | Tel: 586-558-6900 | E-mail: center@iononline.org
IONA’s mission is to transform its members and help transform the surrounding communities to righteous, God-fearing people, who collectively strive for the highest moral standard and constantly seek forgiveness from our Creator to earn His pleasure. We seek His compassion and mercy in this life and in the hereafter. We rejuvenate our soul through internal struggle and spiritual exercise in worship of our creator God. The strength of our belief in God gives us the courage to establish good and forbid evil, thus promoting a system of justice for all mankind.