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A Joint Muslim Statement on the Carnage in Orlando

Muslim scholars, Imams and leading figures issued a joint statement on the recent Orlando shooting that killed 50 people. The statement, signed by more than 180 Islamic figures, described the attack as “an act of hate-fueled violence [that] has no place in any faith, including Islam”.

Below is the statement text and list of signers


June 13, 2016

On behalf of the American Muslim community, we, the undersigned, want to extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the barbaric assault that occurred early yesterday morning at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We unequivocally say that such an act of hate-fueled violence has no place in any faith, including Islam. As people of faith, we believe that all human beings have the right to safety and security and that each and every human life is inviolable.

We know that, given the tenor of the times, some will associate this tragedy with the religion of the perpetrator. While we may never learn conclusively what motivated this misguided individual, many news sources claim that he was motivated by his faith, which would be a reprehensible distortion of Islam adding the religion to the long list of innocent victims in this callous crime. Any such acts of violence violate every one of our Prophet’s teachings. For Muslims, that this carnage occurred in the blessed month of Ramadan—a month of charity, introspection, and self-purification—only adds to the foulness of this enormity.

Since September 11, 2001, many Muslims have been victims of collective guilt; yet, numerous Americans of good conscience have stood by their fellow citizens, despite differences in faith or lifestyle, including many members of the targeted community. Difference is no justification for violence. While most American Muslims adhere to a strict Abrahamic morality, the Quran is clear that its injunctions apply only to Muslims who choose to follow them: “There is absolutely no compulsion in religion.” In America, individuals are at liberty to pursue happiness as each sees fit; it is our cherished political right. Those of us who live in this country, irrespective of our beliefs, must respect the equality of all Americans under the laws of the land.

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We feel compelled to state that it is an egregious offense against the culture and laws of America—as well as Islam’s—to place collective guilt on an entire community for the sins of individuals. “No soul bears the sins of another,” says the Quran.

Three days ago, Americans honored the memory of one of the greatest and most beloved men in American history: Muhammad Ali, who was a devout Muslim. The Islam Muhammad Ali followed is one of love, tolerance, and respect for all. American Muslims everywhere felt that he ended, once and for all, the vacuous claim that one cannot be both Muslim and American.

We, as American Muslims, follow the openhearted and inclusive Islam of Muhammad Ali and completely reject the hatred, provincialism, and intolerance of those who trample upon the rights of others, besmirching and defiling the name of Islam. The criminal who entered into a lawful American business in Orlando and took the lives of dozens of its patrons and injured many others was an aggressor, plain and simple. The Quran says, “Do not be brutal or commit aggression, for surely God does not love brutal aggressors.”

There are extremists in America and abroad who view the world through a Manichean lens: American Manicheans want Americans to see themselves as entirely “good” and all Muslims as entirely “evil.” Muslim Manicheans want Muslims to see themselves as entirely “good” and all Americans as entirely “evil.” This is a catastrophic recipe for unrelenting violence, and it must be rejected: We will not allow the extremists to define us, mold us in their benighted image, or sow the seeds of discord among us. We are one people, so let us all in good conscience and human solidarity reject this extremist narrative and assert our shared humanity and mutual respect for the sanctity of all human life.


HAMZA YUSUF – President, Zaytuna College
SHERMAN A. JACKSON – King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture, USC
SIRAJ WAHHAJ – President, Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)
UMAR F. ABD-ALLAH – Resident Scholar, Chicago, IL
MUSTAFA CERIC – Grand Mufti of Bosnia
ZAID SHAKIR – Co-Founder, Zaytuna College
YASIR QADHI – Dean, AlMaghrib Institute | Assistant Professor, Rhodes College
YUSUF ISLAM – Philanthropist / Singer & Composer
ABDULLAH BIN HAMID ALI – Senior Faculty , Zaytuna College
ABDULLAH HAKIM QUICK – Resident Scholar, Islamic Institute of Toronto
AISHA AL-ADAWIYA – Founder, Women in Islam Inc.
MUHAMMAD AL-NINOWY – Founder & President, Al Madinah Institute
TAMARA GRAY – Founder, Rabata Inc
NAEEM BAIG – President, ICNA
WALEED BASYOUNI – VP, AlMaghrib Institute
YASER BIRJAS – Imam, Valley Ranch Islamic Center
OMAR SULEIMAN – Resident Scholar, Valley Ranch Islamic Center
OUSSAMA JAMAL – Secretary General, US Council of Muslim Organizations
AFIFI AL-AKITI – KFAS Fellow in Islamic Studies, Oxford University
ALTAF HUSAIN VICE – President (US), ISNA / Associate Professor, Howard University
MAZEN MOKHTAR – Executive Director, The Muslim American Society (MAS)
MAHA ELGENAIDI – Executive Director, ING
KHALID LATIF – Executive Director, The Islamic Center at New York University
YASIR FAHMY – Senior Imam, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
IMAM ZIA – Executive Director, MakeSpace
NIHAD AWAD – National Executive Director , The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
NOMAN HUSSAIN – Imam & Resident Scholar, Islamic Society of Milwaukee
AFROZ ALI – Founder & Director, Al-Ghazali Centre, Australia
YASSIR FAZAGA – Religious Director, Orange County Islamic Foundation
FAISAL HAMID ABDUR-RAZAK – President, Islamic Forum of Canada
TAHIR ANWAR – Faculty, Zaytuna College
AISHA SUBHANI – Board Member, Zaytuna College
FOUZAN KHAN – Director, Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS)
MUNIR EL KASSEM – President & Founder, Islamic Institute for Interfaith Dialogue
DALIA MOGAHED – Co-Author, “Who Speaks for Islam? what a Billion Muslims really think”
HAMID SLIMI – Chairman & Imam, Canadian Centre For Deen Studies / Sayeda Khadija Centre
SHAHED AMANULLAH – Co-Founder, Affinis Lab
MUSLEMA PURLUM – Chaplain, Institute of Knowledge (IOK), California
HAZEM BATA – Secretary General, ISNA
DILSHAD D. ALI – Chair, Board of Directors, Enabled Muslims
ABDUL MALIK MUJAHID – President, Sound Vision
ALBERT PRESS JR. – President, American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP)
YAHYA RHODUS – Founding Director, Al-Maqasid
ZESHAN ZAFAR – Executive Director, Forum for Promoting Peace | UAE
AFTAB MALIK – Senior Advisor, Forum for Promoting Peace | UK
MIKAEEL AHMED SMITH – Islamic Soicety of Baltimore
ABDUR RAHMAN BASHIR – Imam, Jefferson Muslim Association, Louisiana
QASIM KHAN – Imam, Masjid At-Tawhid
NOMAN HUSSAIN – Imam & Resident Scholar, Islamic Society of Milwaukee
KENAN BASHA – Board Chair, MSA National
FATIMA SALMAN – Central Zone Representative, ISNA
ABDELMAJID JONDY – President, Flint Islamic Center
PAUL GALLOWAY – Executive Director , The American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC)
SARAH COCHRAN – President & Co-Founder,
ASHFAQ TAUFIQUE – President , Birmingham (AL) Islamic Society
KHAULA HADEED – Executive Director, CAIR AL
LATEEF UR RAHMAN – Imam , Islamic Society Of Tracy
ILYAS ANWAR – Imam , South Valley Islamic Community
KHAULA HADEED – Executive Director, CAIR AL
SYED MOKTADIR – President, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS Center)
HUSSAIN KAMANI – Mufti, Instructor, Qalam Institute | Resident Scholar, Islamic Association of Carrollton
EDWARD AHMED MITCHELL – Attorney & Executive Director, CAIR-Georgia
AAMIR NAZIR – Imam, Muslim Community of Folsom (CA)
HAMZAH WALD MAQBŪL – Instructor, Rayyān Institute
MUZAMMIL AHMED – Chairperson, Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC)
TAREK EL-MESSIDI – Founding Director, CelebrateMercy
MOHAMED ALMASMARI – Executive Director – Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC)
HATEM BAZIAN – Co-Founder, Zaytuna College
FERAIDOON MOJADEDI – Director, Sacred Caravan
ASAD TARSIN – Board Member, Deen Intensive Foundation
RAMI NASHISHABI – Executive Director, IMAN | Visiting Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS)
AMJAD QUADRI – Education, Muslim Community Center Chicago, IL
ABDULLAH T. ANTEPLI – Imam, Duke University
MUHAMMED AL AHARI – Editor in Chief, Magribine Press
NIAZ HANNAN – Religious Director, Islamic Center of South Jersey, Muslim Chaplain, Drexel University
IRFAN SHUTTARI – Board Member, Michigan Muslim Community Council
YAMA ZACHARIAH AZAR – Representative, Southern California Afghan Community
AAMIR NAZIR – Imam, Muslim Community of Folsom, CA
LATEEF UR RAHMAN – Imam, Islamic Society of Tracy, CA
VASEEM FARIA ANSARI – Director, Houston Islamic Speakers Bureau
KARIM KHAYATI – Co-Founder , American Muslim Institute
AZRA HUSSAIN – President, Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona
ZEHRA WAMIQ – Founder/Director, Delaware Valley Speakers Bureau
NUHA ALFAHHAM – Co-director , ILEARN, ING affiliate
KHALIL MEEK – National Executive Director , Muslim Legal Fund of America
SHABANA SHAKIR AHMED – Tours & Talks Chair, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
AIDA MANSOOR – President, Muslim Coalition of Connecticut
REZA MANSOOR – President, Islamic Association of Greater Hartford
M. RAJAULLAH QURAISHI – Past President, MCC Chicago
SHAKILA T AHMAD – Board President, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
ISMAEEL CHARTIER – Imam, Islamic Association of Cincinnati
TEHSEEN LAZZOUNI – Director, Islamic Speakers Bureau of San Diego
ADNAAN A WASEEM – Teacher, Muslim Society Institution
AHSEN WASEEM – Imam/instructor , Furqaan Foundation/Academy
MINHAJUDDIN AHMED – Imam and Resident Scholar, DarusSalam Foundation
AZFAR UDDIN – Imam, Islamic Foundation North
YASIR NADEEM – Director , Darul Uloom Online
SAAD H. BAIG – Imam , Islamic Center of Quad Cities
BILAL ALI ANSARI – Lecturer, Darul Qasim
AFZAL SHEIKH – Khateeb, The Islamic center Of deer park ny
ABDUSSAMAD AWAL – Mufti, Darul Quran Wassunah
YASIR KHAN – President , Al-Misbaah
AHMAD JAFAR – Mufti, Darul Arqum Institute
OSSAMA BAHLOUL – Resident Scholar of the Islamic Center of Nashville
RASHAD SHARIF – Imam, President, Masjid Al-Mu’minun, Memphis
MOHAMMED ABDULLAH AL MAMUN – Baitul Mukarram Center, Danbury Connecticut
IBRAHIM H AHMAD – Imam, Masjid Noor Inc
YASSER ARAFAT – President/CEO, Peace Ambassadors USA
ABDUL-LATIF SACKOR – Imam/President , Islamic Center of Rhode Island
SALEH M. SBENATY – Chair, Outreach Committee, Islamic Center of Murfreesboro
USMAN AKHTAR – Imam, Islamic Society of Western Connecticut | Danbury Masjid
ABDUL AZIZ BHUIYAN – Chairman , Hillside Islamic Center
MOHAMMED WASIM KHAN – Mufti, Madrasah Islamiah/ ISRA Foundation
ZAID KHAN – Instructor , DUA Institute
ASIF UDDIN – Instructor, Darul Qasim
ABDUL HAKIM HAMID – Imam , Muslim Community of Florida
MOHIBULLAH N. DURRANI – Professor, Muslim Astronomers
KHALID YOUSUF – MD, Orthopedic surgeon
HASANUDDIN KHAJA – Ex- executive member , Islamic center of Harrison
ZYSHAN YASEEN PALWALA – Instructor/Imam, Masjid Uthman
MUSLIHUDDIN KAWTHAR – President, Rihlatul ILM Foundation
ASIM GAFFAR – Teacher, College Preparatory School of America
AYMAN SADER – Member of Board of Trustee , Islamic Center of Nashville
ABDELRHMAN HUSSEIN – Assistant, Peace Ambassadors USA
KIFAH MUSTAPHA – Imam, The Prayer Center of Orland Park
IKHLAS ANSARI – Hafiz, MCC Chicago
AZEEMUDDIN JAWAD MOHAMMED – Lead Qur’an Instructor, MAS- MAS Qur’an Institute -(MQI)
ABDELHAFID DJEMIL – President, Majlis Ashura (Islamic Leadership Council) of New York
MUHAMMAD A HUSSAIN – President, Long Island Muslim Society
SAIFUL NABI – Imam, Muslim Federation of J.C.N.J
HASIB NOOR – Founder, The Legacy Foundation
MUBEEN KAMANI – Sheikh, MCC Academy
MOHAMMED AMJED ALI – Imam , Rahmat e Alam foundation
MOHAMMED SAMIR WAHID – Mufti/founder, Islamic institute of Atlanta
EHZAZ AJMERI – Scholar & Instructor , DarusSalam Foundation
RAHAT HUSAIN – Director, Universal Muslim Association of America
VASEEM ANSARI – Director, ING Houston Islamic Speakers Bureau
KHALID MIRZA – Co-Founder , The Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations (COSMOS)
MUHAMMAD CHOWDHURY – Instructor , Darul Hidayah
EMAN HASSABALLA ALY – Co-Founder, Collaboryst & RRT
KHAMIS ABU-HASABALLAH – President, Farmington Valley American Muslim Center
SAJID ALI – Imam, Islamic Association of Forth Worth
NAYEF ABBAS – Imam/Juris Consult, Islamic Association of Michigan
MOHAMMED A HAQUE – Ex President, Islamic society of Nortgwest suburbs of Chicago
TALIB SHAREEF – President , The Nation’s Mosque Masjid Muhammad
IKRAM UL HAQ – Imam, Fatwa Center of America
NAEEM KHALID – President , Islamic Center of Connecticut, Inc (Madina Masjid)
MOHAMMED KAISERUDDIN – Chairman, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
A RAHMAN – Board member, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
NAAZISH YARKHAN – Founder, Writers Studio
KAREN DANIELSON – Outreach Director, MAS Chicago
JAWAD KHAN – President, Chicago Chapter, Indian American Muslim Council
TALAT M. OTHMAN – Co- Founder, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
MAJEED SHARIF – President, United Muslim mosque
RAEF MARDENI – Member, Self
MAJEED SHARIF – President, United Muslim mosque
ZAHER SAHLOUL – Senior Advisor and past president , Syrian American Medical Society
KARIM MOZAWALLA – Vice President/Trustee, Muslim Community of Nassau County/Masjid Hamza
BAHER S FOAD – Board member, Islamic center of greater Cincinnati
MOHAMMED MISBAHUDDIN – Ex President , Muslim Society
GULAME ASIF – Board Member, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
KAMEELAH RASHAD – Founder & President, Muslim Wellness Foundation
ILTEFAT HAMZAVI – Board member , Michigan Muslim Community Council
OMER BAJWA – Muslim Chaplain, Yale University
SAMEER AFSAR – Secretary, Downtown Islamic Center Chicago
SEHAM ABDALA – Director, NJ Islamic Networks Group
ASHRAF TRABOULSI – Board Vice Chair, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
INAYAT MALIK – Past President and Board Chair, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
HEBA MACKSOUD – Board of Trustees Member, Islamic Society of Central Jersey
USAMA CANON – Founding Director, Ta’leef Collective
SAMIA HUSSEIN – Vice President/President-Elect, Muslim Coalition of Connecticut
MAZEN ASBAHI – Partner, Law Firm of Roetzel & Andress, LPA
BASSAM ISSA – President, Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga
LENA F. MASRI ESQ. – Legal Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Michigan
FERYAL SALEM – Professor , Hartford Seminary