LGBTQ Muslims denounce Orlando attack, call on bigots to stop inciting hatred

LGBTQ Muslims denounce Orlando attack, call on bigots to stop inciting hatred
Muslim LGBTQ activists have called on people to stop using the Orlando killings as an excuse to fuel their own political agendas - by pitting Islam and the gay community against each other.

The move comes after the worst mass shooting involving a lone gunman in American history when US citizen Omar Mateen killed 49 people at a gay club in Florida. Mateen reportedly became angry after seeing two men kissing in Miami a few months before the attack, according to his Afghan father, Mir Seddique.

After the gunman’s Muslim identity was revealed, most gun-toting heterosexual Americans gave predictable reactions, although GLBT gun advocates from Pink Pistol surprised many when they called on their brothers, sisters, and non-binary siblings to take up arms.

Writing in The Guardian, LGBTQ activist Samra Habib said gay Muslims often feel the brunt of such attacks.

“We are now used to the fact that, every time a criminally-misguided Muslim commits an act of violence, the entire religion and all its followers are questioned and placed under suspicion in a way that isn’t replicated with other faiths,” Habib wrote. “We – and this of course includes queer Muslims – have to take extra care walking down the street at night and entering our mosques for fear of Islamophobic attacks.”

Muslim LGBTQ organizations such as the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity said they were “devastated” by the massacre and that “as LGBTQ Muslims, we feel compelled to speak out at this time of national tragedy to appeal for solidarity and to ask that there be no rush to assign blame to any individual or group beyond the shooter.”

Other social media users called out the double standards when it comes to stereotyping millions of people for the actions of a few.

Welsh journalist and left-wing activist Owen Jones walked out of the Press Preview segment on Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky News after a male anchor insisted Islamic extremism rather than homophobia was the primary motivation for the attack.

READ MORE: Ex-wife of Orlando nightclub shooter: 'He abused me, had bipolar disorder & anger towards gays'

Other Muslims have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help raise money for the families of the victims and raised up to $37,000 for the cause.

Mateen had legally purchased an assault rifle and handgun in the past two weeks and had worked as a private security officer.