(CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA, June 12, 2016) – Muslims and non-Muslims across Iowa join their fellow Americans to condemn the murders of 50 and the wounding of 53+ innocent patrons of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Iowaâ€™s LBGTQ Community and Council on American Islamic Relations Iowa Chapter (CAIR-Iowa) angrily condemn the vicious actions of the shooter, and offer our condolences and prayers to the victims and their families.
Local LGBTQ Community Leaders are pledging to work beside members of various groups of Faith communities, and others of diverse backgrounds, to increase community awareness programs. These programs are to build bridges among communities in Iowa, to share and learn from differences, and increase respectful dialogue between diverse groups. Iowa's CAIR Chapter is reaching out to the LGBTQ community, to ensure that the horrific incident in Orlando, not be construed as a religious hate crime, or that the mass killing is an example of True Islam. A member of the LGBTQ community and local advocate, Anthony Brown states, “When I heard about the tragedy of last night, I was horrified. Horrified for my brothers and sisters that were senselessly murdered and horrified that people are going to incorrectly blame a religion for the intolerance of one person. If fundamental extremism is playing a part of this tragedy, I want us to come together and show that fundamental extremism, from any religion, or political party, should not be accepted in Cedar Rapids, in Iowa, or in our United States.”
CAIR-Iowaâ€™s Executive Director Miriam Amer stated, â€œHatred and violence have no religion. The actions of terror suspect Omar Mateen has no justification in Islam, or place in our nation. As it states in our holy Qurâ€™an (5:32), â€˜…if any one killed a person, it would be as if he killed the whole of mankind; and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole of humanity.â€™
“Just stating that our hearts go out to all who are affected and who now must try to recover from the carnage created by Omar Mateen is not enough. Truly our thoughts are with them; however, we as a nation MUST address the core issues: hatred and terror, and the warped thinking that leads one to commit such atrocities, whether it may be the murder of 20 babies and their teachers in Connecticut, or the slaughter of nine worshippers in a holy sanctuary in South Carolina, or the hundreds of other such unthinkable murderous events wrought upon this nation. We stand firm in our commitment to building a country and a world where diversity, and religious, social and ethnic differences are celebrated to unite us all,â€ Amer continued.
CAIR-Iowa also encourages the members of the Iowa Muslim community to donate blood to the victims. Additionally, nationwide efforts are being undertaken by the Muslim American community to assist the victimsâ€™ and their families, including launching a crowd-funding campaign, which raised over $25,000 at the time of this release.
Since 9/11, the LGBTQ community has time and again supported the Muslim American community against the trials of bigotry and Islamophobia. Now, the Muslim American community stands with the LGBTQ community, as we believe any Muslim who embodies true Islamic principles should do.
CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in reaction to the attack:
“We are sickened and heartbroken by this appalling attack. Our hearts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims. There can never be any justification for such cowardly and criminal acts, period.”
CAIR-Florida's Orlando Regional Coordinator Rasha Mubarak said in a statement:
“We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured. The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse an appalling act of violence.”