By Pat Warren

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WJZ) — In light of the tragedy in San Bernardino, Muslim leaders in Maryland hold a candlelight vigil to remember victims of gun violence and condemn recent mass shootings.

Pat Warren has more on this Muslim community call to action.

The vigil drew people from around the state.

As the names of the victims are called out, dozens of parents, children and group leaders representing various religious beliefs light candles for those killed and injured in this week’s mass shooting.

“Our heartfelt prayers are for the families of the victims, and we make heartfelt prayers to God to give complete and full recovery for the injured,” said Iham Ahmad Azzari, Prince George’s Muslim Association.

In addition to prayers, there was a call to follow words with action.

“We have to get out of our comfort zone and we have to be involved in policy-making and local politics,” said Shahan Rizbi, Howard County Muslim Council.

“One thing we can do is organize as a community to do outreach to every corner of our community. We are a very large group of voters in the United States, and we need to activate ourselves to be part of the civic system in the United States,” said Hamza Khan, Muslim Democratic Club.

“It comes down simply to this–good and evil. Islam is not associated with anything that’s evil,” said Bilal Ali.

That message is echoed by many who are concerned about backlash from the San Bernardino massacre.

The speakers are asking everyone to remember that gun violence is a national condition, not a religious one.

Friday night’s vigil was held at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring.


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