Local Muslims react to deadly Orlando shooting

Local Muslims react to deadly Orlando shooting

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The deadly shots in Orlando may have been fired more than a thousand miles from Cleveland, but people her are reacting.

"First of all our thoughts and our prayers are with the families, the victims of this massacre."

That was Khalid Samad, who is Muslim, first reaction to the Orlando shooting that left 49 victims dead.

Samad has been fighting violence in Cleveland as part of Peace in the Hood for decades. He didn't hold back in reacting to the horrific shooting deaths in Orlando.

"Number one, he's a criminal. He was insane and he didn't do anything in the name of God. He said he was doing it in the name of an organization," says Samad.

Isis claims the shooter, America's latest mass murderer, was right to kill all those innocent people. Samad disagrees.

"It is impossible for someone to do that in the name of Islam. They may say that, but if you say I'm am an Islamic terrorist or I'm an Islamic this. There's nothing Islamic about terrorism. There's nothing Islamic about murder," Samad says.

Other Muslin leaders agrees. Islam Zaiem, of the Council of American Islamic Relations, warns about the tendency to buy into Isis'  propaganda.

"I think it's very important for us not to help Isis agenda," Zaiem says.

Zaiem is not pleased that another shooter claims to be following the teachings of Islam.

"Hate breeds hate and misunderstanding breeds misunderstanding.  What we really need is to stop and think and get to know each other.  Most of these problems happen because first of all we blame a whole group of people for an act of an individual and secondly we blame because we don't know."

Mr. Zaiem says Cleveland's Muslim community is open to talking to build better relations.

"All you need to do is come knocking on my door, come and visit a Mosque.  Come to our office and ask us about how we think, who we are.  We are as American as apple pie," adds Zaiem.

Zaiem says Muslims make up about 1% of America's population and that they want what most god-fearing people want. Peace.

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