Orlando Shooting: Talking Points

Men hug during a vigil in a park following a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando Florida

Men hug during a vigil in a park following a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando Florida, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri – RTX2FURO

A site called “ReThink:  Media for Security, Rights and Democracy” has just published a page of “talking points” that can be used to counter the simplistic Islamophobic blaming that has already begun to fill our airwaves.  It’s important that people of conscience give this kind of thoughtful response to the distortions.


Talking Points and Resources

  • This terrible attack is rightly called a ‘hate crime.” No hate crime can be tolerated against any community, ever. All of us must stand together in denouncing prejudice directed at any group.
  • All Americans, and indeed all people, should be able to live their lives without fear of being targeted for their sexual preference, their faith, or the color of their skin.
  • The LGBTQ community has stood side by side with the American Muslim community during challenging and difficult times.  We stand together against hatred, violence and demonization of entire communities, and we honor the experiences and work of  LGBTQ Muslims, who are living at the intersections of their LGBTQ identities and Islam. Today, we stand in solidarity with them and the entire LGBTQ community. [Credit: Adapted from Muslim Advocates statement]
  • The gun used in this horrific shooting was an AR -15, the same weapon used in the tragedies at San Bernardino and Sandy Hook. This is a pattern that cannot be allowed to continue. There have been 134 mass shootings this year alone. We need to come together as Americans and put an end to this ongoing tragedy.
  • Religious, civic, and political leaders of every variety should stand together to denounce prejudice or violence that is directed at any group. Politicians who seek to exploit this tragedy demonstrate that they are not fit for leadership in this country, and their exploitation should be renounced. Our strength is our unity.
  • Whatever warped justification the shooter may have claimed, his actions are a hate crime. He alone bears responsibility for this terrible crime. His family, his faith, and his community do not. Every religious tradition explicitly condemns the killing of innocent people, but murder knows no faith.


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