Tragedy in Chattanooga casts shadow over last day of Ramadan - WSMV News 4

Tragedy in Chattanooga casts shadow over last day of Ramadan

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Many members of the Muslim community gathered for a service at TSU on Friday morning. Many members of the Muslim community gathered for a service at TSU on Friday morning.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Many members of the Muslim community in Nashville gathered for services to mark the end of Ramadan on Friday morning.

Some who attended the service at Tennessee State University said they spent what is meant to be a day of celebration thinking about the shooting tragedy in Chattanooga.

"There are no words that can describe this. We are in a state of shock," said Shaykh Hassan Lachheb.

The message shifted from one of optimism to one with sorrow and confusion.

“We’re happy, but our hearts are cringing to the cowardly event that led to four people being killed,” Lachheb said.

Lachheb impressed upon the group the importance of educating the community about the Islamic faith is and is not about.

“This is loss of life. This is not easy,” he said. “In the Koran, you find a verse that God is telling us, if you take the life of one person, it’s like you’re taking the life of everyone, every human being.”

Families did their best to be festive and celebrate their faith on the holy day.

“This is like our Christmas, so we’re celebrating,” said Rashed Fakhruddin, president of the Islamic Center of Nashville. “But there’s a huge damper on it after what happened yesterday. It’s brought us all with a heavy heart.”

Fakhruddin said the acts of an extremist almost always lead to misconceptions that are tough to shake.

“It’s like high-jacking our faith,” Fakhruddin said. “For those who want to paint us with the same paintbrush, we are far removed from this person.”

Leaders in the local Muslim community said they will work to help people cope with the tragedy.

The American Muslim Advisory Council issued this statement, which read, in part:

"The Tennessee Muslim community wishes to express our deepest condolences to the victims and their families. Terrorists seek to divide our society and we pray that all Americans will stand together united against their wanton violence and hatred."

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