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Islamic Center holds event to honor victims of San Bernardino shooting

Islamic Center holds event to honor victims of San Bernardino shooting
Community members attend an interfaith prayer service Saturday at the Islamic Center of Inland Empire for the victims of the San Bernardino shooting rampage. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

An interfaith solidarity event was held at the Islamic Center of Inland Empire in Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday evening to honor the victims of the San Bernardino shooting rampage.

About 100 people attended the event that included Muslims and some residents from the surrounding area as well as dignitaries including U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands), Fontana Mayor Pro Tem Michael Tahan and Abigail Medina, a board member of the San Bernardino City Unified School District.

"I wish we were here for a happier occasion, but unfortunately we're here to ask for God's mercy and grace in this tragic time," said Masood Kahn, a member of the center. "For all of our faith traditions, building bridges of peace is the highest calling."

"So for us to do this and for all of you to come today in light of what's happened, in light of what people are saying about the Muslim community, it really means a lot to us."

Among those who also spoke was Aguilar, who called everyone in the community to come together to move forward.

"We all have a role to play," the congressman said. "This is why we're here to have vigils, to have remembrances and to thank those who work toward our safety; those are the things we can do to rebuild the community. It's important that our community knows the important role you've played for decades in the Inland Empire. It's important for them to know your religious teachings against hate."

Among those who attended the event was Grace Clark of Upland. Clark said she came because it was important to stand up against the anti-Islamic rhetoric that she has heard from Republican presidential candidates.

"We need to pull together as a community and be more understanding of each other," she said.

She said the event was very uplifting, and she wished more people had listened to it.

The Islamic Center helped raised $5,000 Friday which will be donated to the San Bernardino victims' family fund.

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