Muslims Urged During Friday Sermons to Increase Community Engagement

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In forceful Friday sermons, American Muslim leaders throughout Southern California urged congregants to step up their good works and community engagement following the mass shooting in San Bernardino this week.

Muslim women attend a vigil at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Chino, California on Dec. 3, 2015, to commemorate lives lost a day after the tragedy in San Bernardino. (Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Muslim women attend a vigil at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Chino, California on Dec. 3, 2015, to commemorate lives lost a day after the tragedy in San Bernardino. (Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Leaders also drew a distinction between Islam's values of peace and the actions of two shooters identifying as Muslims who killed 14 people and wounded 21 at the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday.

At the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles, religious advisor Jihad Turk told about 700 people not to retreat from the larger society, as uncomfortable as they may feel following both the San Bernardino and Paris massacres by those professing to be Muslim.

"This is not an option," said Turk, who trains imams and scholars for America through his Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School.

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