North Texas

North Texas Muslim Leaders Condemn Orlando Attack

Islamic leaders across North Texas are standing in solidarity with those praying for the victims and families affected by Sunday's violent attack in Orlando. 

The accused shooter, Omar Mateen, reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS in a call with 911 moments before the rampage.

"I'm frankly not surprised. Somebody who would do such a debaucherous act is absolutely deranged," said Alia Salem, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Salem said violence and extremism does not represent the Muslim community.

"It goes against our very teaching. These were innocent people, they had no blame on them whatsoever. If you want to target somebody for their background, their beliefs, their creed, their lifestyle -- this goes against our American principles, this goes against our Constitution, this goes against our human and moral principles, and it also goes against our religious principles as Muslims," Salem said.

Sunday night members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held a special prayer service at the Baitul Ikram Mosque for those affected by this tragedy.

"We condemn this attack," said Saima Sheikh, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA spokesperson. "This is a very senseless attack and it has no backing from any religion - every religion teaches peace."

During the prayer, Suhail Kausar, President of the Dallas Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with our innocent brothers and sisters who, unfortunately, became the victims of the misguided insanity of a perverted individual."

"We all pray that God may bless the departed souls with eternal peace and comfort and provide solace and patience to their loved ones who will have to endure this irreparable loss," Kausar said.

"I think there needs to be more awareness with the community that most Muslims are moderate, they're not terrorists. Islam does not condone any form of violence. We condemn it," Sheikh said. "That's why it's disheartening every time something like this happens -- people immediately blame Muslim -- that this is something that Muslims believe in or something like that and events like this give us a opportunity to remove that misconception."

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