The Orlando Massacre convinced this Muslim preacher to reach out to LGBT people
A Muslim preacher has opened up about how the Orlando massacre brought together his movement and the LGBT community.
In June last year, a gunman opened inside the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
49 people lost their lives in the attack, making it one of the deadliest mass shootings on US soil in recent history. Many of the victims were LGBT and members of the Latino community.
911 recordings later revealed that the gunman had pledged allegiance to the Islamist terrorist group known as ISIS.
In a video released this week, Ashfaq Taufique, president of the Islamic Society of Birmingham, Alabama, explained the reaction to the shooting in his community.
He said: “As a Muslim, it is our moral, religious responsibility to support marginalised communities, whether your moral values are in sync with those communities or not.
Last year, a so-called Muslim went on a rampage in a gay club in Pulse and killed a lot of people.
He explained how the Muslim community cancelled a Ramadan service to attend a vigil in downtown Birmingham in the wake of the attack.
Ashfaq added: “In support, we cancelled our event, and we went and supported the community.
“It was a beautiful event. I found love, compassion and support for eachother, and it evolved into a movement right here in Birmingham.
“I think communities need to come forward and extend love, and it very important for everybody to show up, to have a physical presence. That means we are going to be there where you are.
“They come out for us, and we’ll come out for them.”
The clip was filmed as part of Google’s #ShowUp Stories campaign celebrating Pride across the country.
The city of Orlando recently marked the first anniversary of the attack.
One year on, the local community marked the event with a Day of Love and Kindness, with events held across Orlando to remember those who perished in the attack.
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Orlando Mayor Bobby Dyer said at the time: “June 12 was the darkest day in our City’s history and a day that will forever be reserved to honour the memory of the 49 innocent lives taken from us too soon.
“This tragedy has deeply impacted our LGBTQ+, Latinx, other communities of colour and our entire City.
“Since the morning of June 12, 2016, we have come together to honor the victims, support their families and the survivors and thank our first responders in so many ways.
He added: “Following the Pulse tragedy, we showed the world that Orlando would not be defined by the act of a hate-filled killer, but instead defined by our response of love, compassion and unity.”
“I am so proud that we are Orlando United.”