BOSTON— 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.
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.