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OPOW: Georgia Muslims Unite To Condemn Orlando Massacre...

 

Georgia Muslims Unite To Condemn Orlando Massacre

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(6/12/16 - ATLANTA, GA) Georgia's Muslim community today united to condemn the horrific mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.

 

"Georgia Muslims join their fellow Americans in denouncing Sunday's mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando," said CAIR Georgia Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell. “Heroes like Muhammad Ali embody the world’s Muslim community, not this mass murderer."

 

"As proud Americans and devout Muslims, we respect religious freedom, human rights and freedom of choice,” said Imam Arshad Anwar, leader of Roswell Community Masjid. “Our community will, God willing, continue its efforts to combat extremism and encourage tolerance."

 

“We condemn the senseless murder that has occurred in Orlando, Florida,” Imam Nadim Ali said on behalf of the Council of Masajid (Mosques) of Metropolitan Atlanta. “Islam does not condone wanton murder or individual vendettas. We ask the Muslim community to pray for the families of those who have lost ones in this senseless act, and we ask the general community to exercise patience and tolerance as the proper officials sort out the details of this senseless act.”

 

"The Muslim community of Georgia is stunned by the massacre in Orlando,” said Dr. K. Khalid Siddiq, a leader of Al-Farooq Masjid. “We condemn this heartless act in the strongest possible terms. It defies the teachings of Islam and violates the principles of respect, tolerance and freedom we as Americans so highly cherish. Our hearts go out to all those affected and their families. May God give us all the courage to bear the loss and the wisdom to strengthen our common bonds of humanity."

 

"Since 9/11, the LGBT community has shown consistent solidarity with Muslim Americans as they faced marginalization, harassment, and misrepresentation,” said Georgia Muslim Abbas Barzegar. “To see Muslim Americans now reciprocating that solidarity is testament to the power of this country's unique ideal of social justice."

 

Florida's Muslim community also today condemned the massacre alongside leaders of Florida's gay community, which has often defended Florida Muslims from Islamophobia and discrimination. Georgia Muslims also plan to host a blood drive initiative in solidarity with their neighbors in Florida.

 

"We offer our support and condolences to our neighbors in Florida, including the families of the victims as well as the brave law enforcement officers who risked their lives to bring the massacre to an end," said Shuaib Hanief, editor of AtlantaMuslim.com.

 

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Supporting Organizations Include:

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CONTACT: Edward Ahmed Mitchell; 404-285-9530; emitchell@cair.com

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Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on June 13, 2016 at 11:44am
When Muhammad al-Ninowy awoke this morning to the news of the massacre at an Orlando nightclub, one of his first thoughts was, “I hope it’s not a Muslim.
Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on June 13, 2016 at 11:49am

When Muhammad al-Ninowy awoke this morning to the news of the massacre at an Orlando nightclub, one of his first thoughts was, “I hope it’s not a Muslim.”

Once he learned that the shooter, Omar Mateen, had in fact aligned himself with ISIS, al-Ninowy dutifully composed a statement denouncing the worst mass shooting in American history.

“Yet again we find ourselves condemning the irrational and ungodly actions of a madman who was misguided by a wicked and corrupt social and/or political ideology that twists and misinterprets Islam to justify what can only be termed as satanic actions,” wrote al-Ninowy, president and founder of the Madina Institute USA, a Duluth mosque and seminary.

Such condemnations were echoed from virtually every mainstream Muslim group in the Atlanta area and beyond.

“Tolerance and acceptance must be shown to all individuals, regardless of their race, sex, religion, and sexual orientation,” stated the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Center.

Imam Arshad Anwar, leader of Roswell Community Masjid, promised the Muslim community will “continue its efforts to combat extremism and encourage tolerance.”

And the Masjid Uthman mosque in Dunwoody said, “There can never be any justification for such cowardly and criminal acts.”

Yet amid the nearly uniform condemnation exists a frustration among many Muslims who don’t believe they should be held responsible for the actions of fanatics.

“We’re not even allowed to process these events before we’re called on to condemn them,” said Abbas Barzegar, an assistant professor of religion at Georgia State University.

But he acknowledged “perception is reality and Americans are hysterical about Islam and we need to respond to it.”

Barzegar said he’d prefer a more proactive approach, calling on Muslims to seek dialogue with the religion’s most fervent critics.

“It’s almost become a ritual,” he said of the condemnations of violence by mainstream Muslim leaders. “I’m not sure it even means anything anymore.”

Many adherents also regret that the attacks occurred so soon after the death of Muhammad Ali, recognized as a unifying force who “embodied the best of the world’s Muslim community, not this mass murderer,” according to Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of the Georgia chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations.

A statement coordinated by CAIR was co-signed by 15 local Muslim groups. The organization has also launched a blood drive in solidarity with the victims in Orlando.

Meanwhile, the current political climate has left some Muslims more concerned than ever about a potential backlash.

“One of the most frustrating things as a parent is my inability to completely protect my children from the hateful rhetoric that follows one of these events,” said community activist Nidal Ibrahim, who has two children, ages 10 and 7. Because of those concerns, he said he was “relieved” school is out for the summer.

Al-Ninowy acknowledged “there is a cancer in our midst — they are people who claim to follow the religion we believe in and hold dearly, but their actions violate the very core principles of the religion and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.”

It’s a message he’s repeated many times, often to deaf ears.

Of Mateen, al-Ninowy said: “He's not us. We’re not him. I don’t know what else to say."

Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on June 13, 2016 at 11:50am

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