Members of Rhode Island’s Muslim community are speaking out following the arrest of a Warwick man on charges of aiding an Islamic terrorist group. The man was not known to leaders at one of the state’s largest mosques, Masjid Al-Islam.
Imam Mufti Ikram, who leads the congregation of about 300 to 400 people in North Smithfield, said members were shocked to learn of a terrorist threat.
Ikram said he had never seen the accused man, Nicholas Rovinski, in his mosque. While he worries about public perception of Islam after the arrest, Ikram said so far no one in his congregation has reported a negative backlash.
“We always get worried when something like this happens,” said Ikram “We prepare ourselves to greet people and to tell people what Muslims are about.”
Ikram said he thinks the Muslim community should work harder reach out to other Rhode Islanders. He estimates there are about 3,000 Muslims in the state.
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