The Council on American-Muslim Relations sponsored a strong statement against the violence in Orlando on Sunday, which is being blamed on Radical Islam.
“We must not tolerate hate crimes and violence of any kind… As Muslims, as Americans, now is the time to make it clear that we will not give way to hate, and we will not give way to fear.”
The video hits common points that all people responding with shock and pain, expressing solidarity, calling for support of blood drives, leading vigils, and speaking out against the hatred and extremism of the mass shooting.
It’s important because these are the faces of progressive American Muslims, standing up for justice. These are the leaders xenophobes want us to attack, exclude from citizenship, and ignore.
These leaders are coming together, visibly and passionately calling for unity, expressing outrage in this press conference, being visible in a moment when their presence might incite violence against all Muslims, despite the increasing evidence that the shooter’s motivation was as much homophobic self-hatred turned outward in the name of Daesh, with roots in the conservative Islam preached by his father.
These progressive Muslims show that all Muslim leadership cannot be stereotyped as radical, any more than all Christian leadership can be seen as radical or anti-American based on the shameful and gloating responses to gay deaths from some preachers or Christian politicians who skirt the hate crime issue because of their anti-gay sentiments or constituencies.
Let us lead, like these visible anti-ISIS Muslims, from our courage to see each other, accept our differences, and stand up for the right to diversity and democracy, even in the face of domestic terrorists committing hate crimes, or US political extremists exploiting fear in order to radicalize our people towards violence and policies that will weaken our core principles and freedom.