ALLEN (CBSDFW.COM) – Local Muslims gathered Sunday night to pray for the Orlando victims and their families.
Ahmadiyya Muslims at the Masjid Bait-Ul-Ikram mosque observing Ramadan said the Orlando attack will take a heavy toll on their community, and they took time out to hold a special service condemning the violence and praying for those affected.
They prayed in silence, but they hoped their message of peace would drown out those who commit violence in the name of Islam.
“These people, they call themselves Muslims, but I don’t know from where are they taking those teachings,” said Suhail Kausar, president of the Dallas chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Irfan Rabbani attended the prayer service and said the mass shooting in Orlando will hurt his fellow Muslims who denounce extremism.
“They work day and night hard to bring the peaceful message of Islam, and these incidents put us thousands of steps back. And the whole work of bringing our communities together, we have to restart again. It hurts a lot,” said Rabbani.
Kausar wasn’t surprised that the gunman who killed 50 people in a crowded gay nightclub pledged allegiance to ISIS. But Kausar insists violence toward gays is at odds with what he considers true Islam.
“There’s no such verse which says that for people who have the same-sex orientation, they should be condemned to death. No. Not at all,” said Kausar.
Dozens gathered to honor the Orlando victims and to pray for peace in the days ahead.
“We have to coexist. We have to love each other. We have to become compassionate to each other, so this is what our message is, and this is what we try to demonstrate with our actions also,” said Kausar.
Members of this community said mass shootings like the ones in Orlando and San Bernadino are why they have started a public awareness campaign to distinguish between what they consider true Islam and extremism.
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