President Obama recently challenged Muslims to speak out against extremism and build closer ties to know their non-Muslim neighbors.... [N]o matter how exasperated they may privately feel, some Muslims are beginning to publicly confront the uncomfortable questions that non-Muslims have about Islam and violence, and trying to provide answers, both through words and through the example of how they live their lives.
Here in the classroom, [Bassam Issa, the president of a Chattanooga mosque] told students to look beyond Islam to the deeper and more universal causes of violence. “What’s happening right now is not religious, even though ISIS and Al Qaeda are covered as a religious thing,” he said. “In reality, it’s political.”...
December 22, 2015
"[M]any American Muslims here and across the country are now saying it is no longer enough to denounce terrorism and assert that Islam is a religion of peace."
The NYT reports.