America’s largest Muslim advocacy organisation has condemned Sunday’s bloody attack on an Orlando gay nightclub.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has offered its “condolences to the loved ones of those killed or injured…”
The group also asked the Muslim community nationwide to take part in a blood donation drive for those injured in the attack.
“We are sickened and heartbroken by this appalling attack,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims. There can never be any justification for such cowardly and criminal acts, period.”
CAIR-Florida’s Orlando Regional Coordinator Rasha Mubarak added: “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.”
CAIR describes itself as America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organisation. Its mission is “to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding”.
The Muslim community has raised over $40,000 to support the victims of the massacre though the LaunchGood fundraising website.
The initiative was launched by “a collective of American Muslim leaders and groups” with the aimed of responding “to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action”.
On Sunday, 49 people were slaughtered by 29-year-old Omar Mateen who opened fire on hundreds of revellers inside the Pulse gay nightclub.
He was shot by officers who stormed the venue. Around 53 people remain injured, many of whom are in a critical condition.
The FBI is investigating Mateen’s connections to radical Islamic groups. Isis, to which he pledged support in a 911 call before embarking on the attack, has praised his actions.
A spokesperson, through Albayan Radio, said: “Allah helped the brother Omar Mateen, one of the Caliphate soldiers in the U.S, commit a ‘ghazwah’ (incursion) where he managed to go in among a group of crusaders at a nightclub for the followers of Lot in Orlando in Florida. God helped him kill and injure 100 of them.”