A gay Muslim man in Toronto who generated criticism from other purported followers of Islam after tweeting the Orlando shooter “doesn’t reflect my faith as a Muslim” is speaking out against the online backlash.
Shawn Ahmed tweeted hours after gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 more in the Pulse nightclub that “I want to tell the LGBT community that the Orlando shooter doesn’t reflect my faith as a Muslim.”
The post prompted attacks on Ahmed, from others who said they were Muslim, due to his homosexuality.
“Where in Islamic doctrine does it preach tolerance for LGBT?” one user replied.
The criticism left Ahmed asking why he was being condemned — and not Mateen.
“If all the Muslims in my mentions right now condemning me for being a gay Muslim could condemn the Muslim shooter instead, that’d be great,” he said in a follow-up tweet.
Speaking to Global News, Ahmed said he sent his tweets to help further tolerance of his religion.
“I thought, as someone who is out and open and gay, and Muslim, I should speak and try and promote tolerance and understanding of Islam.”
Instead, he was attacked and even threatened from Twitter users.
“Some of it was every few seconds. Every few minutes,” he said. “Some wished I died in the club. Some wished I would be next. Some said they would stone me to death personally.”
Ahmed said he also received threatening tweets from at least one pro-ISIS account. He said he tried to inform police of the threats, but had trouble getting through to them. The account was then deleted, Ahmad said.
He is questioning what he called the hypocrisy of those Muslims who attacked him for being gay.
“We as a minority cannot ask for tolerance and understanding and acceptance while showing intolerance and prejudice against other minorities. That makes us hypocritical and Islam speaks against hypocrisy.”