Local Muslim Leaders React After Jones Denounces Quran Burning

In response to what's been happening in communities across the United States News Channel 6 spoke with Muslim Leader in Texoma on Thursday.

We got their take, not only about Pastor Jones changing his mind about burning the Quran and the proposed site for a Mosque in New York City, but about misconceptions regarding their faith.

They were certainly relieved when moments before our interview they heard Pastor Jones would no longer be burning the Muslim holy book, the Quran.  But they also had a lot to say about their faith and misunderstandings some locals may have.

Tucked away near Sheppard Air Force Base off Burkburnett Road lies the only Mosque in Wichita Falls.  It has 200 members and it's a growing community.

"Islam is a religion for all people.  The God of Islam is the same God of the Christians,
the same God of Jewish people.  It is the God that created Adam," said Abdullah Shamsid-Deen, the Director of the Islamic Society of Wichita Falls.

And a god, Imam Shamsid-Deen, says answered his prayers, when Pastor Jones denounced the burning of the Quran.
"We welcome that decision, we think that's the right decision," said Shamsid-Deen.

The only concern he has is that others may do what Pastor Jones had intended and follow through burning the Quran.  But as far as locals goes he knows he has their support.

"I believe that public sentiment is on our side here in Wichita Falls and we are grateful for that," he said.

While Islam is sometimes associated with radical terrorists, Ahmed Mattar, a member of the Islamic Society of Wichita Falls says those acts are committed by those who step out of the boundaries of their faith.
"We condemned it then, we condemned it today, it hurt us then, it hurts us today," Mattar said.

Misconceptions can be found in any religion and Mattar says those who want a greater understanding of Islam faith, look no further than in their own lives.

"This is our home, we are probably more than any other group, law abiding citizens, we are
interested in education for our children and betterment for our lives."

In response to the controversy surrounding the proposed site for a Mosque in New York City.  They say the leaders who want to build it should consider the sentiments of the American people.

Friday morning the Islamic Society of Wichita Falls will hold a feast to celebrate the end of Ramadan.  Prayer will begin at 8:30, they welcome anyone to attend.  The address is 1701 Trigg Lane.