To the loved ones of the lost or wounded victims of the devastating shooting who are hurt, to the citizens of Orlando shocked and scared by the news and proximity of the shooting who are fearful, and to the people of the world who are confused by the events –
We offer our prayers and condolences.
The victims of this shooting, like any victims, were undeserving of their fate. Fifty innocent, beautiful lives taken from their families, from their friends, from their communities, and from the world.
In a time where mass shootings have become normalities it is so hard not to turn to hate. Hating the shooter is inevitable in a time like this, but hating the group to which the shooter may claim he belongs is unwarrantable.
Islam is like all religions – a religion of love and peace and acceptance.
In the holiest month of Islam, Ramadan, the tragedy of this news is augmented. As young representatives of Islam in our community, the staff of the Islamic Artists of Orlando would like to ask the people of Orlando to refrain from stereotyping, harassing, or even hating Muslims during these hard times.
We should not let one shooter’s identity reflect that of a whole community.
But we would never like to undermine the focus of this tragic event. The focus shouldn’t be on the shooter. The focus should be on mourning the lost while helping the wounded heal. This is a long process that will take years, so let us have patience and an abundance of love through these hard times.
Again, on behalf of the Islamic Artists of Orlando, we offer our prayers for the victims and their loved ones during this holy time of Ramadan and well beyond,
The Islamic Artists of Orlando Staff
peace be upon you