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Responding to those questions in an interview, Hussein Rashid, one of the event’s co-leaders and a visiting professor of religious studies at Hofstra University, called Geyer’s question “refreshing” and said he wasn’t alone in expressing those thoughts. Rashid said that Muslim scholars have begun to respond to violence against Muslim themselves – the overwhelming majority of terror victims – as well as to violence against non-Muslims.

Terrorism committed by Islamic extremists is “painful for me because my religion is being portrayed in this way,” said Rashid, who grew up in Rego Park. It’s also painful “because the ideal of America, as a community of different people, is being ruptured by people who don’t know what that ideal means.”