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Muslims Send Solidarity Message to Orlando

ORLANDO – Racing to donate blood, raise funds and hold vigils, American Muslims have sent an extraordinary message of solidarity and love to Orlando shooting victims, condemning the violence and rejecting any connection of violence or terrorism to their faith.

“Yes I donated blood even though I can’t eat or drink anything cause I’m fasting in our holy month Ramadan just like hundreds of other Muslims who donated here in Orlando,” Mahmoud ElAwadi, a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, wrote on Facebook.

ElAwadi posted a photo on his Facebook page after donating blood at a bank in Orlando and called on other Muslims to donate.

“Yes I’m angry for what happened last night and all the innocent lives lost,” he added.

“I’m sad, frustrated and mad that a crazy guy claimed to be a Muslim did that shameful act.

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“Yes our blood all looks the same so get out there and donate blood cause our fellow American citizens are injured.”

ElAwadi was one of scores of Americans who rushed to condemn the shooting.

The support came in the form of fundraising, blood donations, and public statements that firmly condemned the violence that claimed the lives of 49 victims at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning, and left dozens more injured.

The gunman, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, reportedly called police about 20 minutes into the shooting and pledged his allegiance to ISIS and Nusra, which seemed contradicting to many as both groups are enemies.

Rejecting the theory of Islamic extremism, Sheikh Yasir Qhadi, a Muslim scholar, cited reports saying that Mateen himself was a gay.

“It has now been confirmed, by multiple sources, that Omar Mateen, the shooter in the Orlando massacre, was himself gay. He frequently visited the same club that he committed the massacre in, and he attempted to initiate dates on a famous gay-dating app,” Sheikh Qadhi wrote on Facebook.

“Additionally, he was born and raised in America. His wife, father and community have all claimed that he was not religious in the slightest.

“He wasn’t a ‘radical Muslim’. He was a mentally deranged psychopathic American closet homosexual who was battling with his sexual identity.

“Instead of concentrating on his mental issues, and on the easy gun laws that our country is notorious for, politicians and media pundits wish to cast all of that aside, and choose the easier target of questioning his faith, and of Islam’s stance on sexual issues,” he added.

Muslims Send Solidarity Message to Orlando

ElAwadi was one of scores of Americans who rushed to condemn the shooting.


Muslim organizations and activists across the country have spoken out against the shooting, explicitly calling it a hate crime.

CAIR Florida has been fundraising for the victims’ families online. As of Monday afternoon, they’ve raised more than $44,000, Huffington Post reported.

“Gay clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ history. They were often the only safe gathering place and this horrific act strikes directly at our sense of safety,” the organizers of the campaign wrote online.

“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action.”

Other vigils were held to remember the victims, including one attended by Dr Suzanne Barakat, a family member of the three Muslims killed a year ago in Chapel Hill shooting.

“These tragedies are coming to us far too frequently. The cure for it is the medicine of love, kindness and compassion,” Barakat said.

Some people criticized pressure on Muslims to apologize on social media on behalf of their coreligionists.

@ClarkKent2215 posted: “I think Muslims are the only ones that after every single attack have to go on Twitter and ‘apologize’ for something we didn’t do.”

@TheKhadegaMo tweeted: “I will not apologize. Terrorism knows no religion and violence has no place in Islam #NotInMyname.”