NJ Muslims: Orlando shooter doesn’t represent us
The state's largest Muslim advocacy group said Monday this weekend's murder of about 49 people by a shooter who'd declared his loyalty to the Islamic State was the act of a "deranged criminal individual does not represent Islam or Muslims in any sense."
The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Monday issued a statement condemning the attack, which has been described by Seddique Mir Mateen —father of 29-year-old shooter Omar Mateen — as "the act of a terrorist."
"I apologize for what my son did. I am as sad and mad as you guys are," his father has said.
Wielding an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a handgun, the younger Mateen opened fire at the crowded Pulse Orlando club early Sunday in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history. He was killed in a gun battle with a SWAT team after police used explosives and a small armored vehicle to punch a hole in a wall and allow dozens of club-goers to escape, police said.
“Horrific acts of violence like this have absolutely no justification.” Jim Sues, executive director of the New Jersey Chapter of CAIR, said Monday. CAIR said its statement was on behalf of "The Muslims of New Jersey (who) have come together to issue a joint statement of solidarity with their fellow Americans in condemning the horrible mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando on Sunday.”
In the joint statement, CAIR and others said they wanted to express "our profound shock, sorrow, and condemnation of the murder of 50 innocent people and injuring of another 53 victims in Orlando, Florida. Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with the families of the deceased and the injured.
Muslims of New Jersey wish to offer heartfelt condolences for the victims and their families whose loved ones have been taken so tragically. This deranged criminal individual does not represent Islam or Muslims in any sense. We as American Muslims condemn this worst act of mass murder in U.S. history in the strongest possible terms.
As the Qur’an states, “Whoever kills a person, it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.”
We reject the hate and anger that leads to this kind of acts of violence.
As Americans, we reiterate our commitment to peace, safety, and security of our nation, as well as our solidarity with fellow Americans. We pray for the safety and security for all Americans.
The shooter's ex-wife, formerly of New Jersey, told reporters this weekend Mateen was mentally unstable, and had been abusive in their marriage.
— The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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