Thousands of people gathered in London’s Soho district on Monday 13th June 2016 to hold a vigil for the 49 people killed by the terrorist Omar Mateen in Orlando, Florida. The Association of British Muslims was proud to be among those paying their respects. We watched in silence as 49 balloons rose into the sky symbolising the needless deaths carried out by a Daesh supporting assassin.
Daesh would like to drive a wedge between the LGBT community and Muslims – as would the Far Right. The AoBM is determined to stop that happening. We are the oldest Muslim association in Britain and it’s our aim to build unity between all Britons regardless of faith, ethnicity or sexuality.
It was heartening to see many LGBT Muslims in Soho on Monday standing in solidarity with their brothers and sisters. All of us expressed our disgust at the murderous acts of Daesh. The terrorists direct vulnerable or unstable people to commit murder without any thought for the consequences. Individuals like Mateen are just pawns in their battle. Once they have served their purpose, Daesh looks for others to brainwash with their distorted version of Islam.
It is sickening that the gunning down of people in Orlando happened during Ramadan. Daesh and their puppet Mateen clearly had no idea about the true meaning of the holy month. This shows the bankruptcy of Daesh as it loses territory and descends to becoming a blood soaked terrorist gang. The threat it poses in our communities is very real and the AoBM will be at the forefront of pushing back against extremist narratives and the ideology of terrorism.