Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

PRINT ONLY: Faith Perspectives 2/14

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

PRINT ONLY: Faith Perspectives 2/14

Article excerpt

This week has been distressing for Muslims in St. Louis.

Last Friday, three Muslims Ramiz Hodzic, his wife Sedina Hodzic, and Armin Harcevic from south St. Louis were arrested and indicted for providing material support to the Islamic State, or ISIS.

The Muslim community in the St. Louis region was shocked and saddened to hear this news.

Since the early '90s, Bosnian Muslims have immigrated to St. Louis and many other parts of the country. The largest Bosnian Muslim community is in St. Louis area.

They have established themselves as hardworking, productive members of the community and have revived the businesses in the Bevo Mill area. City officials have commented many times about the positive effect the Bosnian community has had on the region.

There are now four mosques in the St. Louis area that primarily serve the Bosnian community. My first reaction was one of shock. I could not believe the accused were living in St. Louis and were originally from Bosnia. But then, I am not an expert on terrorism.

I am always surprised when non-Muslims ask me this question: "If you see someone in your community getting radicalized or involved in suspicious activities, will you inform the authorities?"

Our leaders educate the youth about the dictates of Islam, the message of peace and help them to keep on the path of peace, hard work and productivity. Any suspicious activities are, and will be brought to the attention of law enforcement agencies, as it is our duty to do so.

Most of the Muslims in the area are also questioning the implied collective guilt and expectations of defending our faith anytime there is a terrorist activity anywhere in the world.

A fraction of 1.6 billion Muslims who are radical/extremist, do not represent our faith. Muslims all over the world dissociate from these barbaric acts.

On Tuesday, we heard the heartbreaking news of the execution- style murder of three students in Chapel Hill, N. …

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