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“It troubles us:” Islamic Society of Milwaukee struggles to understand San Bernardino tragedy

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MILWAUKEE -- As more details emerge about the San Bernardino shooters' backgrounds, Milwaukee's Muslim community is paying close attention. They're asking for understanding, saying they too are disgusted by what happened in California.

San Bernardino shootings

San Bernardino shootings

The Islamic Society of Milwaukee has been at the same south side location for more than 30 years. It's director says there have always been some resistance but he adds most people have been welcoming and willing to listen.

He doesn't expect that to change.

A handful of worshipers arrive early for Friday afternoon prayers. Islamic Society Director Othman Atta, says the shootings in San Bernardino will come up during service.

Islamic Society of Milwaukee

Islamic Society of Milwaukee

"Here's a couple who apparently had a child six months ago. They brought a child into this world, they created life, and all of a sudden, they're taking away so many innocent lives. We cannot understand how someone can commit such a heinous and revolting act. And yes, it troubles us," said Atta.

Othman Atta

Othman Atta

Atta says what he also finds heinous is the murderous couple could have drawn inspiration for its attack from his faith.

"They claim that it is being done in the name of religion but certainly they don't represent the religion I believe or what the majority of Muslims around the world believe in," said Atta.

Atta says the Islamic Society does have the duty of shielding kids from extremist groups like ISIS that try to recruit western youth.

"What we have a responsibility to do is to make sure that especially the younger people are not attracted to these ideologies that are hateful, bigoted," said Atta.

Islamic Society of Milwaukee

Islamic Society of Milwaukee

Ideologies that Atta says pervert other people's understanding of the faith that guides his life.

"For Muslims, we're grieving over what took place and then we're also trying to defend ourselves from those who try to attack us," Atta said.

Atta says he's especially grateful for the interfaith community here. Those meetings include numerous Christian denominations,Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs. He adds the doors at the Islamic Society are open and welcome to anyone with questions.


  • molon labe

    Have FBI or CIA or just let it happen naturally…. Here’s how it goes:
    1. Find some crazies..Islamic or black/brown preferred.
    2. Tell them when and where to commit their crazy sht, while partying with them etc etc…
    3. Give them new weapons and a bunch a ammo, some weekend before a grill out….
    4. hype them up psychologically to follow through with their “goal”…each time you see them….
    noun: Islamophobia
    dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.
    “Let the fear flow through you” goooooood, goooooood be scared of ALL Muslims…..Gooood.

    • Ignorantliberalsareallthesame

      Oh here come the pathetic anti-Walker liberals. What does Walker have to do with this article? What does concealed-carry have to do with this article? NOTHING. Since you brain-dead liberals are so obsessive-compulsive and want to talk about Walker some more, how about you libtards pay me back all of the wasted tax payer money that stemmed from your failed recall attempt.

  • A yooper

    Every religion has their extreme actors.. Just seems to me Muslims provide more crazy behavior than all others combined.

  • albin erhart

    I don’t have questions, but I have answers for members of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee and my door is always open. May you pray to Jesus the word of God, the sign for all man, the one who came from heaven and returned there, and you will receive your answers.

  • nORELL

    As Islam stands today in the modern world, it is not a religion. It is a political Ideology masquerading as a religion. What is needed is a Islam Reformation, that removes the hate and killing and the thought that a women is property from the book you call the Koran. Honor killings are something that is beyond my imagination. How could anyone kill their little girl? How is it possible that a man is more important than a woman, when without woman there is no man. When you are forced to believe in a god or die, something is really wrong with Islam. We have moved into the 21st century and Islam is still in the dark ages. Today we all know how to read and write, WE are smarter than those that came before us. Believing in God is a personal thing. sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. If you live your life believing in a bunch of words that a old man or a bunch of old men wrote 2000 years ago, you are wasting your life and time. All you have to do is look at today and you can see that God don’t care about anyone. That’s all, live, love, laugh and be happy. The words for today ( ISLAM REFORMATION )

  • Liberty

    LIBERTARIAN you are always against the constitution, one of the greatest papers ever written. If you want a dictator please move to a country that has one.

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