The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) wishes our fellow Muslims around the world a blessed and fulfilling Ramadan. For those who are fasting, may your fasts be easy.
The fast of Ramadan is intended to remind us of those who are less fortunate, and to bring us closer to God in thankfulness and compassion. Ramadan is about more than just abstaining from food during daylight hours, however. It is also a month of reflection and revelation, during which Muslims contemplate scripture, share their blessings with those in need, and come together in fellowship and family.
This Ramadan, we at AIFD extend our most heartfelt and fervent wishes for a blessed month to all Muslims – including those who cannot fast. In addition, we hold in our thoughts and prayers all of those who are hungry not out of religious observance, but because they do not have enough to eat; those who are marginalized and forgotten; those who do not have family with which to break their fasts and celebrate the blessings of Ramadan; those who are serving our country domestically and abroad; those who are struggling with their faith; those who are under siege by dictators and theocrats; and, of course, all of those still suffering in Syria, which remains under the boot of the genocidal monster, Bashar al-Assad.
Wherever you are in your faith journey, we invite you to join us in a commitment to continue challenging the systems of oppression which subjugate both Muslims and non-Muslims, and to fast from any complacency or fear you may experience in your commitment to resist Islamism and its ills.
As we break our fasts tonight, the first night of Ramadan, we will thank and ask God for protection for both Muslims and non-Muslims around the world who hunger for mercy, for compassion and for justice. May our Ramadan increase our faith, our mindfulness, and our sense of community.
We at AIFD are heartbroken to learn of the attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Reports indicate that Omar Saddiqui Mateen, a U.S. citizen, carried out an attack on Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In what is being called the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, at least fifty people are dead. Many other are still in the hospital, some in surgery as medical professionals are attempting to save their lives.
Earliest reports are naming Omar Saddique Mateen, a U.S. born Afghan-American, as the shooter who targeted the club last night.
As the investigation continues, we send our love and prayers to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims, and to the LGBTQ community. Every human being deserves to live safely, as they are, and without fear for their safety. The LGBTQ community has always been at the forefront of so many fights for human rights – including the fight against anti-Muslim bigotry. Tragically, the LGBTQ community has also long been a primary target of radical Islamist networks and governments across the planet.
We at AIFD stand unequivocally on the side of individual freedom and for the protection of LGBTQ people of all faiths and none. Make no mistake. We are again horrifically reminded that our nation and the free world are in a long war that has been declared upon us by global militant Islamists and their Salafi-Jihadi ideology. Understanding this ideology demands that we finally move beyond the false ‘lone wolf’ and ‘violent extremism’ narrative and counter the enemy’s ideology of Islamism and its jihadism.
It is said that in the month of Ramadan, the “devil is in chains,” as the Muslim community focuses on bettering itself. However, it is clear that evil was behind Mateen’s attack last night. We Muslims must triple down on acknowledging the deep reforms necessary and the responsibility of every Muslim in countering the ideologies that inspire these Islamist savages.
We will keep the Orlando community and all affected in our hearts and prayers as this investigation unfolds.
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