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Across the United States, Muslims swiftly condemned the June 12 attack on a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, which killed more than four dozen and injured 53. “This is a hate crime plain and simple,” said Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We condemn it in the strongest possible terms.” The worst mass shooting in U.S. history also drew condemnation from Muslim nations and Islamist parties around the world. American Muslims also expressed solidarity with the LGBTQ community. 

The attacker, identified as Omar Mateen, reportedly called police during the attack and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack. The following are excerpted remarks from prominent Muslim organizations, scholars, clerics, and politicians on the attacks as well as a statement from ISIS.

Muslim Organizations, Clerics, and Scholars

A Joint Muslim Statement on the Carnage in Orlando

Signed by more than 200 Muslim scholars, imams, and community leaders

On behalf of the American Muslim community, we, the undersigned, want to extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the barbaric assault that occurred early yesterday morning at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We unequivocally say that such an act of hate-fueled violence has no place in any faith, including Islam. As people of faith, we believe that all human beings have the right to safety and security and that each and every human life is inviolable.

"We know that, given the tenor of the times, some will associate this tragedy with the religion of the perpetrator. While we may never learn conclusively what motivated this misguided individual, many news sources claim that he was motivated by his faith, which would be a reprehensible distortion of Islam adding the religion to the long list of innocent victims in this callous crime. Any such acts of violence violate every one of our Prophet’s teachings. For Muslims, that this carnage occurred in the blessed month of Ramadan—a month of charity, introspection, and self-purification—only adds to the foulness of this enormity.

"Since September 11, 2001, many Muslims have been victims of collective guilt; yet, numerous Americans of good conscience have stood by their fellow citizens, despite differences in faith or lifestyle, including many members of the targeted community. Difference is no justification for violence. While most American Muslims adhere to a strict Abrahamic morality, the Quran is clear that its injunctions apply only to Muslims who choose to follow them: “There is absolutely no compulsion in religion.” In America, individuals are at liberty to pursue happiness as each sees fit; it is our cherished political right. Those of us who live in this country, irrespective of our beliefs, must respect the equality of all Americans under the laws of the land.

"We feel compelled to state that it is an egregious offense against the culture and laws of America—as well as Islam’s—to place collective guilt on an entire community for the sins of individuals. “No soul bears the sins of another,” says the Quran.

"Three days ago, Americans honored the memory of one of the greatest and most beloved men in American history: Muhammad Ali, who was a devout Muslim. The Islam Muhammad Ali followed is one of love, tolerance, and respect for all. American Muslims everywhere felt that he ended, once and for all, the vacuous claim that one cannot be both Muslim and American.

"We, as American Muslims, follow the openhearted and inclusive Islam of Muhammad Ali and completely reject the hatred, provincialism, and intolerance of those who trample upon the rights of others, besmirching and defiling the name of Islam. The criminal who took the lives of dozens of patrons of the Orlando nightclub and injured many others was an aggressor, plain and simple. The Quran says, “Do not be brutal or commit aggression, for surely God does not love brutal aggressors.”

"There are extremists in America and abroad who view the world through a Manichean lens: American Manicheans want Americans to see themselves as entirely “good” and all Muslims as entirely “evil.” Muslim Manicheans want Muslims to see themselves as entirely “good” and all Americans as entirely “evil.” This is a catastrophic recipe for unrelenting violence, and it must be rejected: We will not allow the extremists to define us, mold us in their benighted image, or sow the seeds of discord among us. We are one people, so let us all in good conscience and human solidarity reject this extremist narrative and assert our shared humanity and mutual respect for the sanctity of all human life."
 – June 13, 2016, in a statement

Click here for the full list of Muslims who jointly issued the statement


Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

As a Muslim, and as American, we have no tolerance for violence of any kind.

“This is a hate crime plain and simple. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms. It violates our principles as Americans and as Muslims. Let me be clear. We have no tolerance for extremism of any kind. We must not tolerate hateful rhetoric that incites violence against any minorities.

“Religious freedom is the cornerstone of our beliefs as Muslims and as Americans. Today, we must stand united. For many years, members of LBGTQI community have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Muslim community against any acts of hate crimes, islamophobia, marginalization and discrimination. Today we stand with them shoulder-to-shoulder. The liberation of the American Muslim community is profoundly linked to the liberation of other minorities—blacks, Latinos, Gay, Jewish, Trans, and every other community that has faced discrimination and oppression. We cannot fight injustice against some groups and not against others. Homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia are interconnected systems of oppression, and we cannot dismantle one without dismantling the other.”

“We must stand up for the victims and their families. The criminals, terrorists, and extremists behind this kind of attacks mean only to divide us and turn us against one another. We cannot afford to let them succeed.

“As Americans, as Muslims, now is the time to speak out and make it clear that we will not give in to hate and we will not give in to fear.”

“I have a word for ISIS and their supporters: How would you stand before God and answer to your crimes against thousands of innocent people? Muslims, Christians, and other minorities. You do not speak for us. You do not represent us. You are an aberration. You are an outlaw.”

“They don’t speak for our faith. They don’t belong to this beautiful faith. They claim to, but 1.7 billion people are united in rejecting their extremism and their acts of senseless violence.

“To politicians who may try to exploit this tragedy, we ask them to respect the victims and their families. It’s not the time to score points. This is not the time to exploit fear. This is the time for unity and faith.”
– June 12, 2016, at a press conference

Rasha Mubarak, Orlando Regional Coordinator for the Florida Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured.”

“The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence.”

Muhammad Musri, President and Imam of the Islamic Society of Central Florida

I’m here to stand as a faith leader to stand with our law enforcement… in this hour of horror that was brought on our city.

“I call on everybody in the community, anybody who has any information to please call the fbi, share what you now. It may help to answer many unanswered questions. I also call on my fellow faith leaders … to pray for the victims and their families in this hour, on this Sunday morning. It is a heartbreaking morning.

“I want to praise the courageous effort of our OPD who risked their lives, put their lives on the line…. No one could have predicted this. No one could have predicted this. It's like lightening. It can strike anywhere.

“They have done a marvelous job to save as many lives after the shooter began… we are glad that the situation is completely under control ad there are no other shooters. This shooters is not known to be connected to any network.

“I want to caution many in the media from rushing to judgment and sensationalizing the story because we do not want the story to be shifted from the focus where it is. It’s a horrible tragedy. We are  mourning. We are sad. We are heartbroken. It’s not really time for any sensational news and rushing to judgment. We should all wait until information and facts come out from investigators.

“Many times in the past this has been discussed as the worst nightmare. We don’t wish this on anybody else. We hope it is the last of the mass shootings our country has been going through. As a nation we need to look at mass shootings. We need to do something about mass shootings that are happening all the time.
– June 12, 2016, in a speech

Islamic Society of North America

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is outraged by the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida. 

“We stand with the victims of this senseless act of violence and mourn with the families of the victims and pray for their ease and comfort during this time of difficulty.

“In a statement, ISNA President Azhar Azeez said: 
‘ISNA sends its condolences and prayers to the families of the victims. We urge the community to stand united against all acts of violence.’

“We encourage our members to donate to help with the immediate, short-term needs of the grieving families and our members in Florida to visit a blood center today to donate blood to help the victims of the shooting.”
– June 12, 2016, in a statement

The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations

The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the largest coalition of leading national and local Muslim organizations, expresses its horror over the mass shooting which took place at a nightclub in Orlando, FL overnight, and offers its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and prays for quick recovery for those who were injured.  

"The shooting, where over 50 were killed and at least the same number were injured, is an affront to all minorities. The USCMO stands firmly against all forms of violence committed against any group, regardless of religious affiliation, creed, color, or sexual orientation. "We condemn such heinous acts by individuals or groups who have no regard for the sanctity of human life" said Oussama Jammal, the secretary general of USCMO.

"The right to live free from violence, harassment or intimidation is the most basic human right and must be defended unconditionally.

"The USCMO urges the Muslim community in Orlando, Florida to step up to donate blood and to reach out to the injured and to the families of the victims."  
– June 12, 2016, in a statement

Salam al Marayati, Executive Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council

Today, our hearts are heavy with the horrific news of a hateful homophobic mass shooting targeting a gay club in Florida, which has taken the lives of 50 people and injured at least 53 others. We join with the LGBTQ community and all Americans in expressing our profound outrage, grief, and condemnation of this sickening act of senseless violence that violates all human decency. Hate, bigotry and violence are our common enemy.

“We send our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased and injured, and stand shoulder to shoulder with the LGBTQ community as we deal with the aftermath of the despicable crime. We are in touch with federal and local law enforcement about the investigation surrounding this tragedy.

“We urge Muslim Floridians to donate blood to aid the injured and to extend their giving and prayers for all those affected by this mass shooting.

“MPAC and many other American Muslim groups around the country have strong ties with LGBTQ communities and groups, and have worked together to oppose hate, intolerance, and bullying which impacts both of our communities.

“As we all grapple with this senseless tragedy and we learn more about the motives and facts of the case, we will be reaching out to LGBTQ communities with condolences and solidarity. As President Obama said at his press conference this afternoon, let us stand together in our grief and outrage, and our solidarity with the victims and their families.

“As Muslims, we believe in religious freedom, civil rights, and human rights. We reject violence, hatred, and discrimination toward anyone on the basis of race, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin. We support civil rights for all people. May God guide us all as we strive in His cause.”
– June 12, 2016, in a statement

Farhana Kera, Executive Director of Muslim Advocates

We are horrified and saddened by the mass shooting that took place at an Orlando nightclub this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims of this despicable act of violence. Our hearts are also with the LGBTQ community in Florida and throughout the United States.  The LGBTQ community has stood side by side with the American Muslim community during challenging and difficult times.  We stand together against hatred, violence and demonization of entire communities.  Today, we stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community.  Your grief is our grief.  Your outrage is our outrage.  We are all one family.”
– June 12, 2016, in a statement

Khaled Latif, Executive Director of New York University’s Islamic Center

Thinking of my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community this morning. I can only imagine how the loved ones of those killed in last night’s horrific actions in Orlando are feeling. The only way to make sense of such senseless acts is through living with hope, compassion and love. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.”
– June 12, 2016, on Facebook

Abdul Nasir Jangda, Founder and Director of the Qalam Institute

Senseless, barbaric violence. Total disregard for humanity.
I pray for justice, unity, & the families who lost loves ones. #OrlandoShooting

— Abdul Nasir Jangda (@AbdulNasirJ) June 12, 2016

Much will be made about the religion of the shooter. I do not know of a sound religious tradition that allows for indiscriminate killing.

— Abdul Nasir Jangda (@AbdulNasirJ) June 12, 2016

Najeeba Syeed, Professor in the Claremont School of Theology

Horrific news to wake to. Heartbroken for families of Orlando shooting...

— Najeeba Syeed (@NajeebaSyeed) June 12, 2016

Thinking also of my queer Muslim students and their depth of pain and complexity of reality in this moment.

— Najeeba Syeed (@NajeebaSyeed) June 12, 2016

Suhaib Webb, Muslim Scholar and Founder of Center DC

Thoughts and prayers with the victims, their families,the LGBTQ community, law enforcement and the city of Orlando.

— Suhaib Webb (@ImamSuhaibWebb) June 12, 2016

Today's murders remind us of hatred's dangerous power and the great work we have to do in building the capacity to temper it.

— Suhaib Webb (@ImamSuhaibWebb) June 12, 2016

American Muslim Politicians

There are currently two Muslims serving in the U.S. Congress, both of whom issued statements condemning the attacks.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

Awful news coming out of Orlando. I'm praying for the victims, their families and everyone in the LGBT community.

— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) June 12, 2016

"The horrific shooting in Orlando goes against every sense of humanity. As details continue to be made available, we must keep the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

"No religion justifies such a senseless act of terror. All decent people must condemn this hateful act that claimed the lives of 50 people and injured 53 more. Sadly, Orlando has now joined Aurora, Charleston, Newtown, Oak Ridge, and many other communities rocked by gun violence. This is yet another reminder that Congress must pass meaningful, common-sense gun reforms that include a ban on assault weapons, which have no place in civilian hands. Members of Congress must stand up to the NRA.

"I am grieving with the LGBT community. The community has been a target for hate for decades, but has seen meaningful advances in the past few years. That progress could not be more evident than seeing millions of Americans, gay and straight alike, celebrate LGBT Pride this weekend. This tragedy will not suppress the love and compassion that the LGBT community is centered on. Going forward, we must continue to stand against all hate crimes. No one deserves to be harmed because of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation."
– June 12, 2016, on Facebook

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)

Saddened & angered to hear of the horrific attack in #Orlando. My heart goes out to the victims, their loved one & their entire community.

— André Carson (@RepAndreCarson) June 12, 2016

"I join Americans and the world in mourning the victims of the Orlando shooting and praying for their families. This is a heartless and brutal attack on the LGBT community and everyone who values freedom and equality.

"We don't know all the details but it is clear that this is an act of hate. While we struggle to come to terms with this tragedy, we must not and will not succumb to fear.

"This is the most lethal terrorist attack in America since 9-11 and we must redouble our efforts to fight terrorism in all forms. As a Member of the House Intelligence Committee, I will be working closely with our intelligence officials to ensure they have the support they need to pursue terrorist threats everywhere."
 – June 13, 2016, in a statement

Muslim Countries and Islamist Parties


Ennahda Party leader Rached Ghannouchi

#Ennahdha strongly condemns the #Orlando terrorist attack. Our condolences to the victims' families and to the American people

— Ennahdha Party (@EnnahdhaParty) June 13, 2016

"The American city of Orlando, Florida witnessed yesterday morning, on June 12, 2016, a terrorist assault inside a night club that resulted in the death or injury of more than 100 people.

"This horrible crime committed on Sunday is the worst mass shooting in the United States, and the Ennahda movement:

"Strongly condemns the terrorist assault and offers condolences to the victims and our friends the American people.

"Emphasizes that the incident is contrary to the values of Islam and violates its teachings of non-violence, and that the killer does not represent Muslims.

"Calls to not exploit the terrorist incident to sow hatred and divisions between people and religions, and confirms that terrorism is a global danger that demands an international strategy to resist."
– June 12, 2016, in a statement


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hossein Jaberi Ansari

“Based on its principled policy of condemning terrorism and its firm resolve for serious and all-out confrontation of this discouraging phenomenon, the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns the recent terrorist attack in the US city of Orlando."
– June 13, 2016, according to the press


Foreign Ministry

Egypt condemns the Orlando attack "in the strongest possible terms.”

"Egypt stands next to the American people in these difficult times, offering sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishing the injured a speedy recovery."

Egypt calls for a "firm, comprehensive approach to confronting terrorism, which knows no borders or religion, and is incompatible with all humanitarian principles and values."
– June 12, 2016, according to the press



Prime Minister Najib Razak

"Islam abhors killing of innocent people.”
– June 12, 2016, according to the press

Horrified by Orlando shootings. Our prayers are with families & friends of the victims. Islam abhors killing of innocent people.

— Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) June 13, 2016


President Ashraf Ghani

Severely condemn the heinous & unforgivable crime in Orlando. It was a coward act of terror. Praying for all those affected by this tragedy.

— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) June 12, 2016

Palestinian Territories


Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah

The attacks are "senseless act of terror and hate" and that "Palestinians stand with the American people in this difficult time."
– June 12, 2016, according to the press

The Islamic State

"One of the Caliphate's soldiers in America carried out a security invasion where he was able to enter a crusader gathering at a nightclub for homosexuals in Orlando.”
– June 13, 2016, according to the press

About the Author

Cameron Glenn

Senior Program Assistant, Iran & Middle East Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace
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