Thursday afternoon authorities identified two men they would like to speak to about the Boston Marathon bombings.
Three people were killed and 176 injured in the attack.
Now, an Oklahoma organization is coming forward to condemn the bombings and defend their often-criticized religion.
Officials with the Islamic Council of Oklahoma (ICO) said they often get hate mail after major attacks, regardless of who is eventually found responsible.
So they felt compelled to send out a press release as the investigation continues.
“There’s no good reason to take innocent lives under any circumstance,” Saad Mohammed, a board member with ICO said Wednesday.
In this post 9/11 world, he said Muslims are often the first ones suspected of committing attacks.
In Boston, police took into custody and questioned a Saudi national.
“I felt until the facts came out, until everything was proven, they shouldn’t point the finger so fast,” Mohammed said.
His ICO press release stated, “The Islamic Council of Oklahoma will like to send their condolences and prayers to the Boston runners effected by the terrible and tragic act. We condemn any and all acts of terrorism and violence.”
It’s a proactive public relations message to try to save their religion from prejudice.
“This was a raw, cowardly act of terrorism and whoever has perpetrated this crime should be brought to justice, no matter who they are,” he said. “Religion, race, culture, ethnicity, they should be brought to justice.”