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Muslim activist on Orlando massacre: 'Their grief is our grief'

Posted June 13

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— People of different faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds will gather Monday evening at the Islamic Association of Cary to mourn the victims of Sunday's mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.

A gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun opened fire inside The Pulse, a crowded gay nightclub, leaving at least 49 people dead in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Faisal Khan, who helped organize Monday's vigil, said he never wants to feel apologetic for his religion, but he hopes this is the last vigil of this kind that he will have to plan.

"This gentleman may have had an Islamic name or an Arabic or Afghani background name, but his behavior and this barbaric act have nothing to do with Islam or the religion of Islam or Muslim community by and large," Khan said.

Many local Muslims said they want the world to know which side of the tragedy they stand on. Shadi Sadi echoed that sentiment and attended an LGBT vigil Sunday night.

"It doesn't matter your race or ethnicity or what your background is, we should all have the right to live here without fear for our life," Sadi said.

Khan said, as a Muslim, he understands what it feels like to be the target of discrimination and injustice. He said those are reasons why he is offering support to the LGBT community.

"I am here to let the people of the gay community know that we are there for them," he said. "Our thoughts are with them and the LGBT community in Orlando and also everywhere else in the United States. Their grief is our grief."

9 Comments

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  • Jim Smith Jun 14, 3:40 p.m.
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    When is the liberal media, WRAL included, going to denounce the Huffington Post writer that called violence against Trump supporters "logical"!

  • Raleigh Rose Jun 14, 3:39 p.m.
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    Funny, I don't recall saying that there weren't issues and atrocities going on all over the world. I was responding specifically to your statement that the Muslim cleric had called for death to members of the LGBT community, when in fact there are so-called Xtian preachers in the US calling for the same. To turn a blind eye to our own problems is doing nothing short of lying to ourselves. I'm sure you can see the hypocrisy.

    And I will repeat, any religion killing in the name of their religion is wrong. And sadly there are many different religious groups that do this on a greater or lesser scale. It is something we should fight everywhere it is found.

    We do need more coverage on Muslims who do speak out against this kind of violence. I know they are out there, and I've seen a story here and there about them, but it needs to be covered more and their voices need to be louder than the radicals.

  • Ronald Woodard Jun 14, 1:57 p.m.
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    Raleigh Rose, whoever you are, I don't recall numerous cases of Christians slaughtering tens of people in the USA in the name of their religion as the primary reason. There is basically genocide going on against Christians in the Middle East. Iran has called for the extermination of Israel.......they have said death to the USA. Yes it would be great if we could live in peace. Islamist terrorists have another idea.

  • Raleigh Rose Jun 14, 10:29 a.m.
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    Just out of curiosity, how many Christian preachers have spoken out against homosexuality lately? As for death to homosexuals, Google Kevin Anderson, who has a video on YouTube calling the massacre in Orlando a good thing because it killed homosexuals or Kevin Swanson who was an advocate for the "Kill the Gays" bill in Uganda and thought it was a great model. Or Phillip Kayser who advocates for the death penalty for members of the LGBT community.

    No religion should be calling for the death of any of God's creatures. It's wrong when Muslims do it, and equally wrong when Christians do it. It would be really nice if everyone on the planet could just let others live their lives and understand that just because you don't agree, or it doesn't follow your religion, it has nothing to do with you.

    I agree with Perry-this is refreshing to see a Muslim denouncing a terrorist and for it to be reported by the media.

  • Ronald Woodard Jun 14, 9:55 a.m.
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    Orlando-area Husseini Islamic Center just weeks before this massacre had a Muslim cleric who spoke negatively about gays and has earlier called for death to homosexuals. Go to this Fox News weblinnk: http://fxn.ws/1XSXaNj I'm not feeling the love, especially given the number of Islamist terrorist attacks within the USA and against Christians in the Middle East.

  • Perry Masonjar Jun 14, 9:27 a.m.
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    Well this is refreshing a Muslim actually denouncing a terrorist.

  • Rob Dunham Jun 14, 9:09 a.m.
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    He called this man a gentleman! I am sorry but this man was no gentleman! He was a killer.
    "This gentleman may have had an Islamic name or an Arabic or Afghani background name, but his behavior and this barbaric act have nothing to do with Islam or the religion of Islam or Muslim community by and large,"
    Read more at

  • Marilyn Loftin Jun 14, 7:08 a.m.
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    A lot on news agencies are reporting that the shooter was gay and frequently the nightclub often. Being a muslim, he believed he could only go to heaven by martyring himself. Christians know they get there be believing,repenting, and turning from their sin.

  • Roger Way Jun 13, 7:38 p.m.
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    Thank you, Mr. Khan.