A group of Louisville Muslims and other faith leaders are denouncing the terror attacks this week in Belgium, for which the terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility.

About two dozen people who practice Islam and other faiths gathered on the steps of the federal courthouse in downtown Louisville Tuesday night to show solidarity with the city’s Muslims and spread a message of peace. They were joined by Mayor Greg Fischer.

WFPL’s Jake Ryan spoke with some of the participants about how extremism can cast a negative light on their religion.

Listen to what they said in the audio player above.


Muhammad BabarJ. Tyler Franklin |

Muhammad Babar

Muhammad Babar

“I want to make sure my fellow citizens see my faith through our eyes, not through the eyes of these terrorists. Faith should not be determined through the behavior of [ISIS], who are nothing but thugs and criminals.”


Zaid SiddiquiJ. Tyler Franklin |

Zaid Siddiqui

Zaid Siddiqui

“It’s a religion where we’re trying to benefit others, not be a harm to others.”


Mehreen Mansoor

“We’re about kindness and love and generosity and forgiveness.”


Mariam BaJ. Tyler Franklin |

Mariam Ba

Mariam Ba

“We may follow a different faith, but at the end of the day, we’re not that different from what you follow. Our principles and our values are not anything different than yours. It’s just that these people take it out of context and they do this, but we don’t support that. I’m scared too. I don’t want to be victimized or targeted for anything just like you don’t. So if there’s anything I can do to make my homeland safer, I would do it.”

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.