Orlando gay nightclub shooting: Muslim leader tells Isis ‘You do not speak for us. You are an aberration’

The largest civil rights and advocacy group for American Muslims was among the organisations to denounce Islamic State

 

US Muslim leader addresses Isis after Orlando shooting - 'You do not represent us. You are an aberration

The national executive director of the largest advocacy and civil rights group for American Muslims has spoken against the mass shooting in Orlando by a man who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Nihad Awad from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said to reporters that the shooting was “a hate crime, plain and simple”.

CAIR has called for the Muslim community to donate blood in the aftermath of the shooting as more than 50 people were injured, many of whom are in a critical condition. The death toll of the shooting was 49 people, and has been named the worst atrocity since the 9/11 attacks.

“We condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” said Mr Awad. "It violates our principles as Americans and as Muslims. I have a word for Isis and their supporters. How would you stand before God and answer for your crimes against innocent people - thousands of innocent people - Muslims, Christians and other minorities?"

“You do not speak for us. You do not represent us. You are an aberration,” he said.

Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old who was born in New York to Afghan parents, took two weapons which he had purchased legally to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on Saturday evening. He opened fire on the club-goers, and called 911 from the bathroom during the attack, pledging allegiance to Isis.

“They don’t speak for our faith,” said Mr Awad. "They never belonged to our beautiful faith. They claim to, but the 1.7 billion people are united in rejecting their extremism, their interpretation and their acts and senseless violence.”

Rizwan Jaka, chairman of the board of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, a large mosque in Washington DC, as well as board member of the Islamic Society of North America, said the attack should “not be used to vilify or stereotype peaceful, law-abiding Muslims in America”.

“We were outraged by this horrific shooting,” he said.

Mateen, who was shot dead by police after the attack, was born to Afghan parents.

Both the president and former president of Afghanistan spoke to the press on Sunday, strongly condemning the attacks.

“We suffer this daily, too,” said former president Hamid Karzai, referring to terrorist attacks by Isis.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in