A President's Reflections

A Muslim perspective on Orlando

Posted on June 13, 2016

The following statement is written by Mustafa Safiia, an SNHU staff member.  Mustafa is Syrian, has lost his country, and embodies all I prize in a colleague, a friend, and a fellow American.  He is incredibly hard working, rising at 4 AM to work on his PhD, before coming to work.  He is gracious, loyal, and a person of honor. He has allowed me to post his statement on the Orlando killings.


“First, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of the over 50 innocent women and men killed at the Pulse Orlando nightclub. Terrorism, against anyone, is a stain on humanity. It is a tragedy that brings us, humans, together against oppression of all kind. I strongly condemn the monstrous actions of Omar Mateen and find it disgusting and outrageous.

I am not going to apologize for this act of terror. I don’t want to apologize because I, like many Muslim fellows I know, simply do not identify with the values, principles and beliefs that Mateen, the mass shooter, believed in. I don’t identify with a minority led by radical groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS who favor a holy war hinging on violence and barbaric action.

I am not either going to brag about how Islam is a religion of peace and how majority of Muslims prefer peaceful and non-violent approaches, as this might sound a little “too good to be true” after a series of terror attacks in Boston, Paris, Orlando, Brussels, Beirut, to name a few. However, by a quick search on the Web you can pull up hundreds of articles written by Muslim fellows, both practicing and non-practicing, who condemn terrorism and tell you that “Whoever kills an innocent person it is if he has killed all of the humanity” (Quran 5:32).

The Florida chapter of CAIR, Council on American-Islamic Relations, responded quickly to the barbaric attack in Orlando and urged Muslims to give blood in the wake of the worst mass shooting in US history. A Milwaukee mosque held prayers vigil for Orlando shooting victims. Seattle Muslims condemned the massacre and called for blood donations. There are far more such responses from Muslim communities across the nation, but the majority of them unfortunately do not appear on the media.

As a Muslim, I stand in solidarity with the oppressed LGBTQ community. I condemn these acts because they are clearly a violation of human rights and my values and beliefs. Discrimination against the LGBTQ community, or anyone else, must be stopped. All ideologies that sanction such monstrous evil must be challenged.

I know condemning terrorism is not enough. I understand that we, Muslims, have an obligation to voice our opinions against radical ‘jihadists’ who have sought to kill because they consider themselves to be holy worriers. Unfortunately, Muslims are the very forefront of combating terrorism. Many Muslims were killed because they publicly opposed ISIS’ persecution of Christians.

Sadly, we live in a time where hatred and bigotry are becoming the rule rather than the exception. Fanning the flames of bigotry & dehumanization creates environments where individuals feel like warriors carrying out these attacks.

I don’t believe hate is an effective weapon against hate. I hope we don’t use this hate crime as a way to promote bigotry because we are all in this together.

May all the victims rest in peace and power and God bless America.”


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