Islamic Society of Tulsa reacts to shooting

Posted at 10:14 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 23:14:02-04

TULSA, OK -- It's been exactly 44 hours since more than 40 people died inside an Orlando nightclub. The Islamic Society of Tulsa says it's a hate crime and an Oklahoma Lawmaker says it's "Radical Islamists." 

The Islamic Society says the religion is peaceful and the lives lost in Orlando broke their hearts. They say that horrific act does not represent the principles of their religion. 

Monday's prayers aren't just those of peace and love. They are prayers of mourning and grief for the 49 lives lost inside the gay Orlando nightclub. 

"Your heart is broken," Islamic Society of Tulsa Religious Director John Ederer said. They see the bloodshed, they see the turmoil and they see that this is total contradiction with our faith."

Ederer says Islam is a peaceful religion and violence isn't a solution, but Ederer does not answer what the Q'uran says about homosexuality. 

"I don't want to comment on what the Quran says on that because I don't think that is a good story to bring to the people, in light of what just happened," he said. 

"A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub, not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation," Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump said.

Critics of the religion say it calls for death to those who don't follow. An Oklahoma lawmaker wants the legislature to study radical Islam. Representative John Bennett posted on Facebook that he wants to know more about 29-year-old Omar Mateen's upbringing. Oklahomans like Scott Blackburn also want to know. 

"I'm sure that the environment that he grew up had a lot to do with his political views and views on homosexuality and what he believed was right was to go and do what he did," said Blackburn.

Ederer says Mateen's hate crime is not the essence of Islam. 

"All of the mainstream understanding of the religion of Islam, which is founded on the concept of selfless compassion as a foundational quality, that's not getting broadcast," Ederer said. 

Ederer says 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide read words of peace, love and acceptance this holy month of Ramadan. 

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