A Muslim leader in Missouri says there is no justification for Sunday morning’s shooting at an Orlando night club. The shooter, Omar Mateen, called 911 just before the massacre and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Faizan Syed is the “Council on American-Islamic Relations” executive director in St. Louis.
“What we want people to know is that even though that person might claim a connection to Islam, we want people to know that Islam does not have a connection to that person,” said Syed. “The taking of innocent lives is completely outside of our religion and it’s a crime against humanity.”
Syed participated in a vigil Sunday night in St. Louis to honor the victims who died in Orlando.
“The extremely heinous nature of this attack against people who are just like anybody else really shocked us all,” said Syed.
Police say 50 people died in the shooting at the Pulse Orlando night club and more than 50 were hurt. Mateen was shot and killed by police.
Other vigils are taking place in Missouri this week to remember the victims. There will one in Columbia at 8 p.m. tonight at the Boone County Courthouse. Another will be held in Joplin at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Landreth Park and Springfield is organizing a vigil for Friday at 7 p.m. at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of the Ozarks.
Kansas City also held a vigil last night.
The attack comes during what is known as LGBT Pride month, which honors riots in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Those violent demonstrations are credited for leading to the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.
O.Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa contributed to this story.