DULUTH, GA. — June 12, 2016 — It is a sad and devastating day for us here at Madina Institute USA, as it is for the victims in Orlando, their loved ones and for all Americans of all religious faiths. Yet again we find ourselves condemning the irrational and ungodly actions of a madman who was misguided by a wicked and corrupt social and/or political ideology that twists and misinterprets Islam to justify what can only be termed as satanic actions. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones during this moment of intense sadness.
Today we find ourselves as angry, shocked and devastated as all of our fellow Americans. This is especially so in this month of Ramadan — which is marked by spiritual introspection, forgiveness and mercy for all human beings, all principles that were specifically violated by the actions of the shooter in Orlando.
There is a cancer in our midst — they are people who claim to follow the religion we believe in and hold dearly, but their actions violate the very core principles of the religion and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.
With regards to the specific target, a gay nightclub, Islam teaches us first and foremost that all of our fellow human beings, irrespective of religious, racial, ethnic or sexual differences have an inherent and immeasurable worth and dignity; for each human life is considered sacred. Our radical equality before God leads us to think no less of another human being because they are “different”.
This is a devastating event, one which none of us will any time soon understand or come to grips with. As American Muslims, we will not allow ourselves to be demonized, neither by the deranged actions of those who misguidedly claim to act in the name of Islam, nor by those who would use this event as a broad stroke paint brush characterization of all American Muslims. We are not Omar Mateen. We are not Syed Farook. We are not Nidal Hasan.
Just the opposite, the ones who more closely reflect our spiritual beliefs are the likes of the Muhammad Alis and the Keith Ellisons of the world. There are more than 8 million of us who proudly and openly identify ourselves as Americans Muslims, and we are Democrats and Republicans. We are of Middle Eastern, Asian, European and African heritage. We are Black and we are White. There are Muslims who have a homosexual orientation, and that in no way compromises their value as equal human beings accountable before God, as we all are.
In short we are active, contributing members of our United States, and we all have the same dreams and aspirations as all of our fellow Americans, chief among them being the safety and well-being of our families and loved ones and the prosperity of our country from those that would seek to do us harm, regardless of what they may call themselves or twisted political ideology they may claim to follow.
This shooting in Orlando is not just a horrifying massacre but an attack on all of us. While we mourn the loss of innocent lives, we offer our heart-felt condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, and pray that God Almighty protect and comfort all humanity.
Dr. Al-Ninowy is the president and founder of Madina Institute USA, a Duluth, GA. based mosque and seminary with branches in 6 countries.