“Hate is not going to win”: Local Muslims react to Orlando shooting

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The central Ohio Muslim community is speaking out in the wake of the Orlando attacks.

Council on American Islamic Relations Ohio Law Director Jennifer Nimer says, “Everybody’s first reaction in the Muslim community is please don’t be a Muslim and unfortunately it was.”

Islam is intertwined with the worst terror attack since 9/11.  As fear and tension rise, central Ohio Muslims are also grieving the loss of life.

Noor Islamic Cultural Center’s Outreach Coordinator Nicol Ghazi says, “This focus needs to be on 50 lives lost prematurely. 53 lives impacted. There is no rhyme or reason to ever take the life of an innocent.”

There remains an increasing focus on the shooter and his religion. Nimer explains, “1.2 billion people worldwide (the number of Muslims globally) can’t possibly take responsibility for the actions of one person.”

Ghazi she says the Noor Islamic Cultural Center is trying to build bridges in the community and teach others the truth about Islam.  Ghazi adds, “Come and get to know us. Get to know your Muslim neighbor. You will see Islam itself is not the problem.”

The calls for afternoon prayer can be heard through the cultural center.  Customs might be different, but Ghazi says central Ohio Muslims want to be part of the solution to an issue that brings this country so much pain.  She explains, “We are every bit embedded and woven into the fabric of this nation. It’s absolutely critical. This is the time when this nation has to come together and prove that hate is not going to win.”

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