****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****
(Birmingham, AL - June 12, 2016)
Alabama Muslims, Community and Faith Leaders Unite to Condemn Orlando Massacre
“Alabama Muslims join their fellow Americans in unequivocally and unconditionally denouncing Sunday's mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando," said Council on American Islamic Relations Alabama Chapter (CAIR- AL) Executive Director Khaula Hadeed. “Individuals like Muhammad Ali represent true ideals of Islam, whereas the mass murderer Omar Mateen represents the enemies of the faith and indeed, of humanity. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families at this time of great pain, horror, and tragedy."
In a joint statement interfaith and community leaders said, “Much remains to be learned about the horrific shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando last night, but there are some things that can be said without qualification. If Omar Mateen was motivated by some warped religious sensibility, his actions violate the fundamental precepts, not just of Islam, but the essential teachings of every one of the world’s religions and, indeed, non-religious moral creeds. Fundamentalists of every religion have distorted such morality and denied those teachings. True adherents of every moral religion and philosophy reject those distortions. Our hearts go out to all who lost loved ones and to the wounded and the survivors must now try to recover from the devastation wrought by these events. Our thoughts are with them. We reaffirm our commitment to building a country and a world in which diversity and differences – religious, ethnic and social – are celebrated as the many-faceted fabrics of the human quilt that unites us all. We utterly reject the view that diversity requires hostility.”
Ashfaq Taufique, President of Birmingham Islamic Society, said, "Like the rest of America, the Muslim community in Birmingham, Alabama woke up today to the devastating news of the horrific attack that happened in Orlando last night. Evil, pure and simple. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with the innocent victims in Orlando. We stand in complete solidarity with our fellow Alabamians and Americans in the collective fight against hate through its many evil manifestations.”
Diane McNaron, Birmingham Peace Project Chair, said, "Donald Trump's tweets notwithstanding, this heinous act is no different in character from so many other hate crimes, like Dylann Roof's murder of nine church members in Charleston, South Carolina one year ago, Eric Robert Rudolph's bombing of a Birmingham women's clinic and two lesbian night clubs in 1988 and the bombing of a Target rest room in Illinois just three days ago."
Scott Douglas, Executive Director of Greater Birmingham Ministries said, “The tremendous grief and pain brought about by this heinous, homophobic act of intolerance and hate cannot be allowed to become a political profit center whose purpose is to energize even more hate under the banners of homophobia on one hand and Islamaphobia on the other. As law enforcement works to uncover the origins of this crime, we embrace with an abundance of love the families, friends and loved ones of those touched personally by this atrocity.”
*Anniston Islamic Center
*Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America - Alabama Chapter
*Birmingham Islamic Society
*Birmingham Peace Project
*Alabama Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AL)
*Greater Birmingham Ministries
*Lawrence T. King, Lawyer and Member of Asbury United Methodist Church
*Rev. Dr. Kip Laxson, Senior Minister Asbury United Methodist Church
*Preston Miller, Lawyer and deacon at Baptist Church of the Covenant.
CONTACT: Khaula Hadeed 334-224-2201; Khadeed@cair.com