Muslim community in Columbus reacts to Orlando nightclub shootings

Published: Jun. 13, 2016 at 10:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2016 at 11:10 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Muslims across America are showing overwhelming support for the victims of the Orlando massacre.

The shooter Omar Mateen has been identified as a Muslim.

On Monday, we reached out to local mosques for their perspective on this tragedy.

Farhad Ali Farhani of Columbus was born south of Iran and migrated to America nearly 40 years ago.

Farhani says he returned from his homeland in Iran this weekend only to learn of the horrific situation in Orlando when he touched down on American soil.

"When I see somebody else taking advantage of it, it is just heartbreaking," Farhani said about his Muslim faith.  

He says it stands for peace and respect with other human beings, not violence as acted out by Mateen, who proclaimed allegiance to the Islamic State during his shooting rampage according to reports.

"Definitely his parents were Muslim but how much he knew about Muslim and apparently being born here, but just because your parents are Muslim doesn't mean you are Muslim," Farhani said.

Like Farhani, Muslim Americans across the nation are standing strong showing an outpouring of support for the victims in the deadliest shooting spree in America.

"These are all our neighbors and fellow citizens and it's heartbreaking, we are with the community, we are united against these types of criminal actions and we pray for those loved ones who left the victims," Farhani said.

They are also hoping for a speedy solution to the growing violence that originated in the Middle East.

"Situations been going on in the Middle East for so long and all nationalities," Farhani said. "Especially now the situation in Syria basically has been the rise of the problem with ISIS."

Farhani has a message to people who turn to violence in the name of religion. He says they should refer to the Koran – taking one innocent life is as bad as taking the entire lives of mankind on earth.
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