On Sunday, several Muslim groups, among others, held interfaith vigils and conferences in California’s Inland Empire to condemn the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and an unindicted co-conspirator in a the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding trial, was among several groups to participate.
“We have failed leaders who don’t know any other way but to demonize a community,” Hussam Ayloush, who heads CAIR in Los Angeles, said during a news conference in Anaheim on Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times wrote that Ayloush suggested such rhetoric incites hatred against Muslims, African Americans, gays and others, and said he made calls for “a voice of sanity.”
In December, CAIR also held interfaith vigils immediately following the aftermath of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, in which Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik murdered 14 people and seriously injured 22 others during a holiday party. (CAIR, bizarrely, also took the lead in helping the family of the radical Islamic terrorists gain custody of their orphaned baby girl.)
Sunday’s conference was reportedly attended by ten other community leaders including Grace Dyrness, vice president of the board of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, who reportedly said “We resist and denounce efforts to see Islam as the cause of this violence.”
A large banner with hearts all the colors of the rainbow was hanging on the wall behind the speakers at a prayer vigil at the First Congregational Church of Riverside, with the hashtag #LoveWins on it. About two dozen people attended. The San Bernardino Sun notes that nearby a mosque in Chino drew more than 100 people to its vigil. Ahsan Khan, president of the Los Angeles East chapter, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community reportedly said the vigil was an attempt to build bridges.
“The scripture teaches us that the killing of one person is like the destruction of all humanity,” Khan reportedly said. (The Ahmadiyya community is often persecuted by other Muslims.)
Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, an American-born to Afghani parents, opened fire in a gay Orlando nightclub late Saturday evening, killing 49 people and injuring at least 50 more before authorities took his life. The Port St. Lucie resident was raised in a Muslim household.
Breitbart News reported that Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, said his son became angry when he saw two men kissing in downtown Miami a couple of months ago, and that he thought that may have “caused this.”
Seddique also told NBC that “This had nothing to do with religion.” According to NBC News, a spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of the Interior said Mateen visited Saudi Arabia in 2011 and 2012 to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca, also known as Hajj.
Islam does not recognize homosexuality, and in most Muslim countries, being gay is considered a crime that is punishable by death. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, homosexuals are hung, or pushed into receiving gender reassignment surgery. In Saudi Arabia they are often flogged, jailed and beheaded for the crime of being gay.
The Times writes that “most of the speakers stressed that Islam is ‘a religion of peace.'” )The word “Islam” itself is derived from the root word “salaam,” which means peace. However, the word Islam itself means “submission” to Allah or God.)
Sarah Fiske-Phillips, assistant pastor at Irvine United Congregational Church, reportedly said that in the coming days people will attempt “to pit us against them, to blame Muslims, to blame LGBTs.” She reportedly insisted that people must “resist the temptation and come together in love.”
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