STERLING, VIRGINIA - Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism.
The All Dulles Area Muslim Society outside Washington is known for its efforts to promote interfaith dialogue and increase understanding about Islam.
Imam Mohamed Magid says U.S. Muslims are deeply disturbed by the barbaric violence Islamic State militants are responsible for in the Middle East.
“Muslim Americans are very troubled by the images they have seen of beheading innocent people, especially our fellow Americans," said Imam Magid.
U.S. Muslim leaders have been quick to condemn videos like this one released by IS.
Rizwan Jaka says Islamic State fighters are terrorists.
“We condemn terrorism and extremism and we pray for the safety of our country. And we pray for the safety and peace around the world," said Jaka.
American Muslims object to the name Islamic State - saying it is an effort to hijack their religion.
Nihad Awad of the group Council on American-Islamic Relations:
“They exploit my faith and this is very offensive to all Muslims and we speak against it," said Awad.
Analysts say the Islamic State group, also known as ISIL, is a master of using propaganda for recruiting, posting online videos that cannot be independently verified.
An estimated 12,000 foreigners are fighting in Syria, including about 100 from the United States.
The U.S. State Department has published a video with graphic images of IS atrocities in an effort to counter the group's propaganda.
Secretary of State John Kerry:
“ISIL claims to be fighting on behalf of Islam, but the fact is that its hateful ideology has nothing to do with Islam," said Kerry.
Other religions are throwing their weight behind U.S. Muslim leaders.
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is the Catholic archbishop emeritus of Washington.
“Killing people, suicide bombing, the killing of innocent human beings is wrong. It is not the teaching of Islam," said Cardinal McCarrick.
Muslims here in America hope their message of peace and harmony will resonate.
“We would like our fellow Muslims around the world to join hands and to say enough is enough," said Magid.
And now with the United States pledging to degrade and ultimately destroy the militants American Muslims are vowing to remain united against violent extremism.
Concurrently, President Obama dropped by National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s meeting at the White House with a delegation of Christian religious leaders from the Middle East led by Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Rai. The leaders discussed the plight of Christians in the Middle East and the challenges they face across the region from the rise of extremism.