Monday, June 13, 2016

USA: Ahmadiyya Muslim Chapters Nationwide Quickly React to Orlando Nightclub Shooting


"Islam teaches reverence for all human life. This is a time to pray and act to stop such senseless violence in our nation."

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: TOA / Various
By Staff Report | June 12, 2016

Silver Spring, MD

President Bilal Rana of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association said in a statement, "We urge all Americans to hold fast together against such violence and hate that seeks to divide and antagonize all of us.”

Indiana: 

"Islam teaches in the Quran that the killing of an innocent is like the destruction of all mankind. We extend our condolences to the victims' families and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured," said Samin Khan with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Indiana.  The Ahmadiyya Muslims regularly set up displays at the Statehouse during legislative sessions, and the national group also operates the MuslimsForPeace.org website.

Metro Detroit, MI

"We are extremely sad and horrified by what happened," said Dr. Mansoor Qureshi, president of the Michigan chapter of the Ahmaddiya Muslim Community. "We condemn it in the strongest possible words. Whoever did it is beyond crazy, he's a lunatic. ... It's such a tragic loss of life."

"We pray for the victims, we pray for humanity," Qureshi said. "We will continue to do whatever we can to save life, to support the lives of all."

The heavily armed assailant, identified as Omar Mateen,  pledged allegiance to the Islamic State before he was killed in a hail of gunfire, authorities said.

"It is tragic to hear anytime a life is taken in such a senseless act of violence," said Mahir Osman, secretary of public affairs for the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in metro Detroit.  "Such brutality has no place in a civilized society. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community of metro Detroit mourns the loss of our brothers and sisters in humanity and prays for the speedy recovery of the injured."

Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community released the following statement:
Last night, a tragic shooting took place in an Orlando nightclub which left at least 50 dead and countless injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families and friends and we pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.  Islam teaches reverence for all human life. This is a time to pray and act to stop such senseless violence in our nation.

Meriden, Connecticut

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community will be holding a vigil in Meriden at 8 p.m. at the Baitul Aman House of Peace Mosque, 410 Main St., Meriden on Sunday.

Silicon Valley, CA

Over in Silicon Valley, a mosque organized a prayer service for the victims. The community encouraged its members to break their fasts and instead donate blood if possible.

“We condemn this senseless and horrific act of violence in the strongest possible terms,” said Wasim Malik,President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Silicon Valley. “Our hearts go out to the innocent victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with them as their neighbors and brothers and sisters in peace. Islam teaches reverence for all human life. This is a time to pray and act to stop such senseless violence in our nation.”

The prayer service is slated to begin at 8 p.m. Sunday on 926 Evans Road in Milpitas, CA.

Dallas, TX

The Dallas chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will host a prayer service for the Orlando victims at 8 p.m. at Baitul Ikram Mosque in Allen.

Orlando, FL

In a statement issued mid-day June 12,  Dr. Wajeeh Bajwa, president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Orlando, said, “We condemn this senseless and horrific act of violence in the strongest possible terms.

"Our community has been in Orlando for nearly two decades and yet have never seen such depravity. Our hearts go out to the innocent victims and their families.  We stand in solidarity with them as their neighbors and brothers and sisters in peace.”

He continued, “In light of this horrific tragedy, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Orlando Chapter will hold a prayer service for the victims, their families and the entire grieving community. We pray for the swift recovery of the injured and for our heroic law enforcement officers. We continue to offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims. Islam teaches reverence for all human life. This is a time to pray and act to stop such senseless violence in our nation."

Additionally, Bajwa said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Orlando Chapter is encouraging its members to donate blood even though they may be fasting today, which the  seventh fast in the month of Ramadan.

North Texas

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."


Milwaukee, WI

The Milwaukee Muslim community is also reacting to the Orlando attack.

"My condolences go out to the families and victims... and it's the sorrow for the loss of life," said Rizwan Ahmad, a spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the nation's largest and oldest Muslim organization. Ahmad says the organization has joined the fight with President Obama called "True Islam" which works to help fight extremism. He says their goal is to teach people outside the Muslim community about their religion. trueislam.com has eleven points that show how extremists give inconsistent messages with the teaching of Islam.

Ahmad said people jumped to the conclusion the shooting was terrorist driven when the shooter was identified Islamic. While the FBI has mentioned some ties to terrorism and ISIS regarding the mass shooter in Orlando, Ahmad says a distinction should be made.

"Even the own shooter's father says this has no root in religion. there's no where in the religion of Islam where it condones any activity, any vigilantism. every life is just as sacred as any other life," said Ahmad.

In the wake of the tragedy, Ahmad hopes people understand terrorism and religion are not affiliated.

"ISIS is a terroristic organization, not an Islamic organization. Many of the fathers of ISIS may profess to be Islamic. However, by their actions they are not true Muslims," said Ahmad.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will hold a prayer vigil Sunday, June 12 at 8:30 p.m. It will be at: Baitul Qadir Mosque, 5600 W Fond du Lac Avenue, Milwaukee.



... to be updated

-- USA: Ahmadiyya Muslim Chapters Nationwide React to Orlando Nightclub Shooting


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