A leading group in Alberta’s Muslim community is expressing its sorrow for the victims of the worst shooting in U.S. history.
Forty-nine people were killed and at least 53 were injured early Sunday morning at a gay Orlando nightclub when police said Omar Mateen open fired on the crowd.
“This is such a horrible time. I think we all recognize what that loss of innocence means for us, for people to be attacked so brutally and disgustingly,” Mustafa Farooq, with the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council, said.
“So we just wanted to extend, you know a small…I think just like the entire Alberta community has been, just extend a little bit of our condolences to the people in Orlando.”
Mateen was a Muslim who the FBI said had ties to the so-called Islamic State, and allegedly called 911 to proclaim his allegiance to the terror group.
Farooq said Islam teaches to love and respect people.
“Whoever kills a certain person without reason, it’s as if he exterminated all of humanity, and that’s really what it’s done to all of us Muslims,” Farooq explained.
“These kinds of attacks on vulnerable communities without justification that are just, they’re just, I mean horrible. I mean honestly we can’t even have words for how horrifying these are.”
Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, told NBC News that the attack “has nothing to do with religion.”
He said his son had been angry after seeing two men kissing in Miami months ago, and that may be related to the shooting.
“It is the extermination of all mankind. An attack on one of us is an attack on all, and that’s really the Islamic perspective. These kinds of attacks are completely illegitimate according to the Orthodox opinion,” Farooq said.
According to some regulars at the gay-friendly nightclub where the shooting massacre happened, Mateen was a repeat visitor at the establishment.
A drag-dancing married couple described seeing Mateen as many as a dozen times at the nightclub.