Local News

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

Posted June 13, 2016 6:46 p.m. EDT
Updated June 13, 2016 6:48 p.m. EDT

— 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."