American Muslim leaders have warned ISIS about not speaking for them in the wake of a mass shooting in a gay club which left 50 dead.
Nihad Awad, speaking for the Council on American-Islamic Relations told reporters that the shooting was “a hate crime, plain and simple.”
The organisation has, since the attack, urged the Muslim community to donate blood after a shortage due to the high number of victims.
“We condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Awad said.
“It violates our principles as Americans and as Muslims. I have a word for Isis and their supporters. How would you stand before God and answer for your crimes against innocent people – thousands of innocent people – Muslims, Christians and other minorities?”
“You do not speak for us. You do not represent us. You are an aberration,” he added.
“They don’t speak for our faith. They never belonged to our beautiful faith. They claim to, but the 1.7 billion people are united in rejecting their extremism, their interpretation and their acts and senseless violence.”
The All Dulles Area Muslim Society, in Washington DC, who is on the board of the Islamic Society of North America, said the mass shooting should “not be used to vilify or stereotype peaceful, law-abiding Muslims in America.”
“We were outraged by this horrific shooting,” he added.
50 people were killed and 53 injured on Sunday in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack, which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida. ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.
In a statement, President Obama mourned the victims of the homophobic hate crime attack and called for greater restrictions on arms sales.