Mosque and Islamic community leaders should intervene at signs of problems or potential radicalization among their members rather than shunting troubled youth and others aside who might be susceptible to extremism, two prominent Southland-based Muslim leaders said Sunday.
Both deceased Boston Marathon suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and before him convert Adam Gadahn, who eventually became a spokesman for Al-Qaida, were kicked out of U.S. mosques after exhibiting worrisome behavior, Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said at a forum on Islamic radicalization at All Saints Church on Sunday.
While U.S. mosques want to be free of radical ideas and prevent scrutiny from the FBI, having productive conversations with such men about their feelings of anger and frustration could help prevent them from becoming radicalized or being swept up by those bearing a twisted religious ideology, Al-Marayati said. However, any threat of unlawful or violent behavior, he said, should be referred directly to law enforcement authorities.
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