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.