As Philadelphia Police remain on high alert after a man allegedly shot an officer, “in the name of Islam,” local Muslims showed their support for the men and women in blue.
Members of Philly’s Arab and Muslim community marched from the MAS Islamic Center on East Luzerne Street to 24th and 25th Police District headquarters Tuesday. They held signs in support of police and expressed their appreciation for Philly law enforcement.
The peaceful march occurred as tensions continue to run high following last Thursday’s ambush shooting of Philadelphia Police officer Jesse Hartnett. The suspect in the shooting, Edward Archer, allegedly told police he shot Hartnett “in the name of Islam” and also pledged allegiance to ISIS.
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Philadelphia Police also received an anonymous tip claiming Archer was part of a group of four radicals who are planning future attacks on officers. The tip claimed that Archer attended two Philadelphia mosques. Members of those mosques told NBC10 they didn’t know Archer, condemned his actions and said that they preached against extremism.
Philly’s Muslim community and Mayor Jim Kenney also condemned the shooting. Kenney also stated that Archer’s apparent motive did not represent Islam, “in any way, shape or form or its teachings.”
“This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers,'' Kenney said. “It has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.''
Those who participated in Tuesday’s march echoed his sentiments.
“We’re here to say that we do not support those types of activities nor does our religion support those types of activities,” said Saadiq Jabbar Garner of the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission.
Several Philadelphia police officers also attended Tuesday’s rally and shook hands with the marchers.
“You condemn the actions of one individual not an entire community,” said Philadelphia Police Inspector Michael McCarrick. “Get that message across that the Philadelphia Police and the Muslim community are one. We are this community.”