Following the tragic shooting at a gay club in Orlando on Sunday that left 50 dead and about as many injured, a wave of Islamophobic rhetoric has swept the country. The gunman, Omar S. Mateen, was an American citizen born to Afghan immigrants, but that hasn’t stopped many commentators from inferring that the attack had more to do with Islam than his own views on LGBT rights.
But Muslim leaders throughout the world have condemned the attack — including in the United States. Below are a few of the Muslim politicians and government officials who have weighed in on the attack.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani came out strongly against the attack. Only a few hours after the news broke, he offered his condolences to the victims’ families and his support to Americans.
Ghani’s second-in-command, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, offered similar sympathies. He was joined by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Hamdullah Mohib, who drew parallels between the struggles of Afghans and of the LGBT minority in the United States.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its condolences in a statement on Monday.
“The Ministry expresses its heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims, and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured,” the statement read. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterates the solidarity of the Kingdom of Bahrain with the United States of America, renewing its rejection to all forms of extremism and terrorism, and calls on the international community for comprehensive and effective counterterrorism efforts to ensure the eradication of the dangerous threat of terrorism across the world.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina condemned the shooting and offered a letter of condolence to President Obama on Sunday.
“I condemn this dastardly act of terror in the strongest possible term and reiterate my government’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy against any form of terrorism and violent extremism,” she wrote, according to Bangladesh News 24. “My government and people stand shoulder to shoulder with your government and the friendly people of the United States of America at this difficult hour and renew our commitment to work together with you as partners to counter terrorism and violent extremism that have emerged as threats to human civilization.”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid condemned the shooting on Twitter.
A representative from Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the shooting on Sunday, saying it posed “a grave harm to Islam, and [is] distant from its noble teachings.”
Terrorism requires an effort by the international community to eliminate “this disgusting phenomenon and [rid] the world from its evil,” the representative added, confirming Kuwait’s rejection to all forms of terrorism.
The Indonesian government has condemned the attack in Orlando. “We expressed our deep sympathy to the families of the victims, the government, and the people of the United States,” Arramanatha Nasir, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted on Monday.
Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari condemned the shooting on Monday. “The Islamic Republic of Iran, according to its own principled policy of condemning terrorism and its firm determination to deal with this scourge seriously and comprehensively, condemns the recent terrorist attack in Orlando in America,” Ansari said, according to Mehr News.
Former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically-elected leader of the island nation, called for a stand against inhumanity. Noting that his thoughts were with “all who lost a loved one,” Nasheed offered his condolences to the victims’ families, as well as his sadness.
Numerous members of the Pakistani government responded to the attack, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who said that no one “should ever feel afraid of…being killed for who they are.”
Sharif’s comments were joined by those of Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Jalil Jilani, who sent his prayers and condolences.
Pakistani politicians also weighed in. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, of the PPP, spoke out against “fear, hatred, and bigotry.” Senator Sherry Rehman, also of the PPP, called for an end to the “fires of hatred and prejudice” and appealed to a shared sense of humanity across the world.
Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the attacks in a statement on Monday.“Qatar reiterates its condemnation of all forms of violence and terrorism, whatever their motives and justifications, and emphasises the need for concerted international efforts to face criminal acts that target civilians everywhere in the world,” the statement read.
Saudi Ambassador to the United States Abdullah-Al Saud condemned the attack and expressed his condolences in a statement on Monday.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns in the strongest terms the attack on innocent people in Orlando, Florida, and sends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims and to the people of the United States,” the statement read. “We stand with the American people at this tragic time. We pray for the recovery and the healing of all those injured in the attack, and we will continue our work with the United States and our partners in the international community for an end to these senseless acts of violence and terror.”
Deputy PM of Turkey Mehmet Simsek condemned the attack on Twitter.
Former Interim President of Tunisia Marzouki Moncef took to Facebook to condemn the attack, and to express his horror at ongoing tragedies across the globe. Citing violent incidents like the horrifying attack on Tunisia’s Bardo Museum in March and recent airstrikes on Idlib, Syria, Marzouki called for the protection of innocents everywhere.
United Arab Emirates
UAE ambassador to Washington Yousef Al-Otaiba expressed his condolences in a statement posted on the embassy website. “On behalf of the leadership and people of the UAE, our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims of yesterday’s heinous attack in Orlando,” the statement read. “We condemn the hate and fanaticism behind this unspeakable violence. We must all work together to promote tolerance and peace.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the attacks in a statement on Monday.
Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, condemned the attack.
“This hideous and cowardly attack on LGBT+ people in Orlando is an attack on our freedoms and values,” he told the Evening Standard. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Orlando.”
Khan also mentioned the history of attacks on the LGBTQ community in London.
In a statement posted on Facebook on Sunday, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim member of Congress, condemned the violence, spoke of the need for meaningful gun reform, and drew attention to the history of hate crimes against the LGBT community.
“No religion justifies such a senseless act of terror,” Ellison wrote. “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.”
“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,” he added. “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.”
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Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), the second Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, also condemned the attack.
“This is a heartless and brutal attack on the LGBT community and everyone who values freedom and equality,” he said in a statement on Monday. “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.”
This is a breaking news post and will be updated throughout the day.