Southern California Muslims say the attacks that killed 12 in Paris this week had nothing to do with religion.
They consider ISIS a cult and say the Quran teaches followers to walk away if someone is offended.
"There is no justification of taking this kind of violence," said Muzammil Siddiqi, of the Islamic Center of Orange County.
Top news of the day
Two brothers were being sought Thursday in connection with the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.
There have been a number of attacks on mosques in France since the Wednesday attack.
Southern California Muslims, meanwhile, said they were going to hold a public forum Friday at Orange County's Islamic Center to talk about it.
Siddiqi said prophets were mocked and ridiculed long ago. He said the lessons then are the same as today — be patient, ignore. God is enough, watching everything.
Members of the Council on American Islamic Relations contend the attacks are aimed at the wrong targets.
"It's an assault on free speech. It's an assault on Islam itself," said Hussam Ayloush, of CAIR.
Muslim leaders hope to educate non Muslims about what they call the fringe element.
"The fact that they claim to commit these crimes in the name of God, in the name of Islam is more offensive than any cartoon could ever be," Ayloush said.
Both religious and civil rights leaders believe one of democracy's greatest strengths is freedom of speech, providing a path for discussion, not violence.
"Counter what's evil with what's even better," Ayloush said.