More than two dozen Muslim American clerics and community leaders condemned Islamic terrorism at a crowded news conference in the District on Wednesday, denouncing the atrocities committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and calling on young Muslim Americans to resist the appeal of jihadist ideology.

The leaders, who were joined by several officials from the Department of Homeland Security, stressed that the great majority of Muslim Americans are loyal and peaceful citizens. They vowed to cooperate with law enforcement officials and to work to dissuade Muslim youths from following violent jihadi paths.

"Young people, please do not listen to this ideology," said Mohammed Magid Dar, director of the All Dulles American Muslim Society in Sterling, the largest mosque in the Washington region. "If someone asks you to join this cult or this group, resist the slogans that promise justice but carry out injustice."

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