St. Pete Mayor warns against violence aimed at Mosques

Local Muslims condemn terrorist act in New York

St. Petersburg, Fla (WFLA)—St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has a warning for anyone who might think about targeting a Mosque or any other place of worship following the attack in New York City: Don’t do it.

“Those who want to do wrong and do evil, look for opportunities and excuses and certainly what happened in New York yesterday gives them exactly that,” said the Mayor. “This is an opportunity for us as a community to come together and say, not here. ”

The mayor met with members of the St. Petersburg Islamic Center on 18th Avenue South in St. Petersburg. He voiced his concerns and listened to theirs. “Your religion and what you believe in are once again under attack,” said Kriseman. “Through no actions of yours.”

Isiam Jaber told the Mayor he simply can’t understand why his religion continues to be associated with violent attacks. “It’s like 9/11. A lot of Muslims died in that,” Jaber told the Mayor. “The people who are doing this, they’re not doing it for religion, it’s just, it’s beyond me to understand why they are doing it. ”

Jaber, like many at this center, hopes people in the community understand they are a peaceful people. “There are elements in this society that wants this to happen and to blame Muslims and the entire Muslim community,” said Jaber. “We are against it and we are against any act of violence. ”

The Mayor was joined by members of the congregation and police condemning any violence that might be aimed at area centers of worship. “We are not going to tolerate it here,” said Mayor Kriseman. “Our police aren’t going to tolerate it, our community is not going to tolerate it.”

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