Orlando attack: Muslims urged to give blood by Islamic group after deadliest mass shooting in US history

Council on American-Islamic Relations condemn 'monstrous' attack

Harriet Agerholm
Sunday 12 June 2016 18:01 BST
Queues outside blood banks following Orlando shooting

America's largest Islamic civil rights group is calling on Muslims to give blood in the aftermath of the most deadly mass shooting in US history.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the “monstrous” attack on the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, and offered condolences to the families of those killed or injured.

"We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured," a statement by the group said.

"The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence."

Michael Cheatham, a surgeon for Orlando health, told a news conference that hospitals in the area had implemented a “mass casualty plan” and urged donors to go to blood banks rather than to hospitals.

One Blood, which organises blood donation, said O negative, O positive and AB plasma donors were urgently lacking.

Meanwhile, the ban on gay men donating blood has been lifted, with One Blood announcing it was “in crisis and will be accepting all donors”.

It said all donors would be given full blood screening.

The organisation said it had been having difficulties with its website amid a spike in interest.

Local news reporter Christal Hayes described one blood centre as “overloaded” with people wanting to donate their blood.

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