The Cambridge mosque that the Boston bombing suspects attended held an inter-faith prayer service Friday to mourn the victims of the terrorist attacks. One of the mosque leaders condemned the violence.
During the prayer service at the Islamic Society of Boston, Imam Ismail Fenni said the Boston Marathon bombing attacks that killed three people and injured more than 250 others were against the teachings of Islam.
“The sacredness and sanctity of life is a universal law imparted by the creator onto humanity,” said Fenni.
This is the same mosque that the two bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar, attended. Fenni said the older brother once loudly interrupted a service, but overall they rarely attended, and never showed a tendency toward violence.
“In the case of Tamerlan his own family, his close friends, could not tell what was about to happen, let alone us with whom he had contact, if at all, very, very infrequently,” said the Imam.
Deadly bombings in the United States
April 15, 2013: Twin blasts at the Boston Marathon kill at least 3, injure more than 140
September 11, 2001: Hijacked jets crash into World Trade Center, Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field killing nearly 3,000
July 27, 1996: Atlanta Summer Olympics bombing kills 2, injures more than 100
April 19, 1995: Car bomb at Oklahoma City federal building kills 168, injures more than 500
February 26, 1993: Van explosion in World Trade Center garage kills 6, injures more than 1,000
December 29, 1975: Bomb at New York's LaGuardia Airport kills 11, injures 75
September 16, 1920: Bombing in New York's Wall Street area kills 40, injures hundreds
Some have accused the mosque of promoting a radical Islamic ideology because several people associated with the mosque have been investigated for connections to Islamic terrorism.
But Fenni rejects these accusations. Rabbi Victor Reinstein of the Nehar Shalom Synagogue came to the prayer service to show support for his Muslim neighbors.
“There is an effort among some to paint as radical and violent extremists people whom I know to be decent, loving, and peace seeking human beings,” said Reinstein.
Fenni said he was shocked and saddened to learn the alleged Boston bombers were members of the Islamic Society of Boston. But he said they did not learn their radical ideology there.