Sacramento Islamic leaders are making an effort to lead the ideological fight against radical Islam, and the threats it poses.
Sacramento's largest Islamic center and mosque, Masjid Annur on 65th Street, hosted its annual two-day theological conference, one of the themes of which is the threat of radicalization within the Muslim community.
Friday night, Imam Yousef Hussin hosted a panel discussion titled, “ISIS: A False Caliphate,” for which leaders condemned the actions of radical groups like ISIS, and explained the differences in what local Islamic leaders called a "warped ideology."
As a young Muslim-American man, Imran Abedrabbo's fear of violence committed in the name of Islamic extremism is two-fold. He says he doesn’t want to see innocent people hurt, and he doesn’t want his faith to be misunderstood.
"Sometimes I feel like it's my fault. That I didn't do enough, getting to know my neighbors, showing what a real Muslim is,” Abedrabbo said.
Abedrabbo is one of hundreds of local Muslims to come to the conference.
"Anytime we…find ourselves going to an extreme view or an extreme ideology, we've gone away from the true message of Islam,” said one of the panel leaders.
"We always make sure we come out, we say 'no this is not Islam.' We condemn these acts. Today, we're taking it a step further and we're addressing it head on,” said Tawfiq Morrar, one of the board members of the Annur Islamic Center.
Morrar says this year, especially, members felt compelled to be out front, condemning groups like ISIS.
"We are forced to speak out, to criticize them. Condemn them and their actions,” Hussin said.
"I was born and raised here. I'm an American. My kids are going to grow up here, I want the best for this country, I want the best for all the people here,” said Abedrabbo.
"Ignoring it and not addressing it is going to give the average American, or the outside observer, the idea that they're speaking in their name. We take the step and say 'no they're not speaking in our name.' We're going to speak in our own name,” said Morrar.
This, Morrar says, is the best way to demonstrate the vast majority of Muslims, like the vast majority of Americans, oppose violence in the name of God.
The conference will continue Saturday.