Turning down a request last week to bury alleged cop-killer Howard Cain at the Germantown Masjid has sparked an international controversy about the burial of Muslims.

And locally, during Jumah, or Friday prayer services, several imams denounced the May 4 killing of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski and the bank robbery by a trio, two of whom wore Muslim women's garments.

During these sermons, called kutbah, the religious clerics preached about the need for safety and security in the city, and issued an apology to the Liczbinski family.

And perhaps most importantly, Islamic leaders have begun to discuss the criminal behavior of some Muslims who pray at their mosques - much to the chagrin of ex-jailhouse Muslims, who are used to silence on such topics.

These events represent a major turning point in the once-insular Muslim community here where leaders want it to be known that their Allah-fearing believers do not condone such violence.

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