WASHINGTON, DC – America’s largest Muslim civil rights group called Monday on members of Muslims nationwide to join Americans of all faiths and backgrounds in donating blood and offering prayers to help the victims of last night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nev.
“We offer prayers for the victims of this horrific attack and sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed or injured,” Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement sent to AboutIslam.net.
“American Muslims, along with their fellow Americans of all faiths and backgrounds, should immediately donate blood in Nevada and nationwide to assist the wounded.”
The Sunday night shooting spree from a 32nd-floor window of the Mandalay Bay hotel, on the Las Vegas Strip, killed at least 59 people before the gunman reportedly turned a weapon on himself.
More than 500 were injured, some trampled, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, left no immediate hint of his motive for the arsenal of high-powered weaponry he amassed, including 34 guns, or the carnage he inflicted on a crowd of 22,000 attending an outdoor country music festival.
However, ISIS claimed that Paddock was one of its members, a claim ruled out by investigation authorities and condemned by American Muslims.
“That the terror group ISIS would — without evidence — claim ‘credit’ for this heinous crime is an example of evil exploiting evil and is further evidence of that group’s depravity,” Awad said.
US officials also discounted a claim of responsibility by the militant Islamic State group.
“We have determined to this point no connection with an international terrorist group,” Aaron Rouse, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in Las Vegas, told reporters on Monday.
In a tweet earlier Monday, Awad urged “Muslim medical professionals and first responders in Las Vegas to volunteer where needed.”