By Ghita Benslimane
By Ghita Benslimane
Orlando, Florida — On Sunday morning, the deadliest shooting spree in U.S. history left at least 50 people dead and many injured in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
The suspect, who was later killed in a shootout with police, was identified as 29-year-old Omar Seddique Mateen of Fort Pierce, Florida.
According to CNN, Mateen called 911 about 20 minutes into the attack and “pledged allegiance to ISIS.”
The massacre does nothing to alleviate the disturbing rise of Islamophobia in the United States. Just a few months ago, presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested banning Muslims from entering the United States. In spite of that, he went on to become the presumptive frontrunner for the GOP nomination, winning the hearts of millions of Americans.
After today’s tragic shooting, Trump reiterated his position. This afternoon, he tweeted, “What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough.”
But Muslims around the country and the world are condemning this attack.
In an official press release, the Moroccan American Chamber of Commerce (MACC) denounced the shooting: “MACC declares absolute solidarity with all the grieving families, relatives and friends of the victims. […] As Moroccans, Muslims, Arabic and Americans, we disassociate ourselves from such outrageous acts.”
MACC also emphasized its determination to help get rid of the threat of terrorism, saying they “endorse and promote the importance of joining all the local, national and international efforts to counter terrorism.”
Executive Director of Muslim Advocates Farhana Khera has said, “The LGBTQ community has stood side by side with the American Muslim community during challenging and difficult times. We stand together against hatred, violence and demonization of entire communities.”
Dr. Bilal Rana, national president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, said “such acts can never be justified in any shape and for any reason. We urge all Americans to hold fast together against such violence and hate that seeks to divide and antagonize all of us.”
Rasha Mubarak, the regional coordinator for the Orlando chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said: “We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured. The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence.”
Though Mateen may have claimed to carry out the attack in the name of Islam, many Muslims have taken to social media to condemn the shooting, using the hashtag “#NotInMyName.”