In a recent Friday sermon in a mosque in Antioch, a neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee, Somali-American Imam Ahmedulhadi Sharif criticized those who carry out terror attacks in the West, such as the October 2017 vehicular attack in Manhattan, saying that they "take innocent lives, running over people who were just biking, just going around," and adding that these people might have converted to Islam. Imam Sharif explained the concept of dhimmis in Islam, saying of the non-Muslim minorities who are citizens or residents of Muslim countries: "Their lives are sacred." The Friday sermon was delivered at the Islamic Center of Tennessee, located in Antioch, and was posted on the center's YouTube channel on December 8, 2017.
Imam Ahmedulhadi Sharif: "What about the people who take innocent lives, running over people who were just biking, just going around, just doing their living things? What did they do to you? Many of them – if you give them Islam, if you give them proper da'wa, they could take Islam. Even if they don't want to take it, you cannot force it on them. Every non-Muslim is a candidate. We don't hide it. He is a candidate for Islam. We want them to be Muslims. So in general, my brothers in Islam... I know I'm running out of time, but the topic is so important. We need to learn, we need to know. We need the world to know Islam and what Islam teaches.
"The non-Muslims in Islam are divided into groups. Number one is a dhimmi – a non-Muslim who is a citizen, a minority, in a Muslim country. He lives in a Muslim country – the Christian minority who live in Egypt, for instance, the Jewish minority who live in Yemen or in Iran. Those minorities, those who gained citizenship or have residency – they were allowed to live in that land... Their lives are sacred.