compiled by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, ISLAMiCommentary on JUNE 13, 2016: *UPDATED ON JUNE 14, 2016
American Muslims were quick to condemn the mass shooting over the weekend at the popular gay nightclub “Pulse” in Orlando, Florida that left at least 49 dead and 53 injured, some critically.
The New York Times (and other outlets) reported that during a series of calls and conversations with the police during the shooting, the Afghan-American gunman Omar Mateen “declared allegiance to the Islamic State.”
It was unclear, however, if Mateen had direct ties to ISIS or if he was even religious at all.
Mateen, according to The New York Times, “had a chilling history that included talking about killing people, beating his former wife and voicing hatred of minorities, gays and Jews; most of his victims were gay, Latino, or both,” and he had made statements to co-workers at a security firm “about being tied to terrorism.”
As of mid-afternoon on June 13, 2016 nearly $45,000 had been raised by American Muslims on the Launchgood page of “Muslims United for Victims of Pulse Shooting.”
The fundraising appeal read:
At least 50 people were killed and 50 more wounded in Orlando, Florida where a gunman went on a horrific shooting spree at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub. Gay clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ history. They were often the only safe gathering place and this horrific act strikes directly at our sense of safety. Far too many Orlando families lost their loved ones in a deplorable act of violence. This is why a collective of American Muslim leaders and groups have united to raise funds for the victims’ families.
We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action. Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: “Have mercy to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens (God) will have mercy upon you.” And the Quran teaches to “Repel evil by that which is better” (41:34).
The Complicated Pain of America’s Queer Muslims (David Graham, The Atlantic, June 14, 2016) EXCERPT: In the midst of a post-Orlando debate that pits Islamophobia against homophobia, LGBT members of the Islamic community find themselves trying to balance multiple identities. FULL ARTICLE
DUKE STUDENT’S FACEBOOK POST ELOQUENT ‘ENCOURAGEMENT’ TO MUSLIMS (ABC 11 on June 13, 2016) EXCERPT: “Muslims are not a monolith and it’s not a homogenous category. It’s a category filled with people from almost every country in the world, people who identify with every single type of sexual orientation or gender orientation, people who have different types of racial backgrounds, and so on.” FULL ARTICLE
Muslim Americans rush to condemn Orlando massacre (CBS News, June 13, 2016) EXCERPT: As the country mourns the victims of this weekend’s Orlando nightclub massacre, members of the Muslim community are sending a clear message: that Omar Mateen, the man responsible for what is now the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, does not represent them. FULL ARTICLE
Today, our hearts are heavy with the horrific news of a hateful homophobic mass shooting targeting a gay club in Florida, which has taken the lives of 50 people and injured at least 53 others. We join with the LGBTQ community and all Americans in expressing our profound outrage, grief, and condemnation of this sickening act of senseless violence that violates all human decency. Hate, bigotry and violence are our common enemy.
We send our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased and injured, and stand shoulder to shoulder with the LGBTQ community as we deal with the aftermath of the despicable crime. We are in touch with federal and local law enforcement about the investigation surrounding this tragedy.
We urge Muslim Floridians to donate blood to aid the injured and to extend their giving and prayers for all those affected by this mass shooting.
MPAC and many other American Muslim groups around the country have strong ties with LGBTQ communities and groups, and have worked together to oppose hate, intolerance, and bullying which impacts both of our communities.
As we all grapple with this senseless tragedy and we learn more about the motives and facts of the case, we will be reaching out to LGBTQ communities with condolences and solidarity. As President Obama said at his press conference this afternoon, let us stand together in our grief and outrage, and our solidarity with the victims and their families.
As Muslims, we believe in religious freedom, civil rights, and human rights. We reject violence, hatred, and discrimination toward anyone on the basis of race, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin. We support civil rights for all people. May God guide us all as we strive in His cause.
ISNA Offers Condolences to the Families of the Orlando Shooting Victims: (Plainfield, IN 06/12/16) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is outraged by the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida.
We stand with the victims of this senseless act of violence and mourn with the families of the victims and pray for their ease and comfort during this time of difficulty.
In a statement, ISNA President Azhar Azeez said:
“ISNA sends its condolences and prayers to the families of the victims. We urge the community to stand united against all acts of violence.”
We encourage our members to donate to help with the immediate, short-term needs of the grieving families and our members in Florida to visit a blood center today to donate blood to help the victims of the shooting.