PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – In response to a nightclub shooting in Orlando Sunday morning, members of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations are urging Muslims to donate blood to those who are injured.
"We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured," Rasha Munarak, the CAIR Florida Orlando regional coordinator. "The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence."
Police said Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, 29, took hostages and opened fire inside an Orlando nightclub at about 2 a.m. Sunday. At least 50 people died in the attack, and more than 50 were wounded.
Law enforcement have not been able to confirm the religious background of the shooter – however, FBI Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper said "We do have suggestions that individual has leanings towards [radical Islamic terrorism.]"
CAIR-Florida Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz told Local 10 News that it is also unclear if the shooter is a person who practices any faith.
"It’s an Arab name, but we don’t know if he is a Muslim," Ruiz said. "We don’t know if this guy is a practicing or non-practicing."
Ruiz said that CAIR condemns the shooting and all "acts of terror."
"We have a strong, unequivocal condemnation of this monstrous and criminal attack," Ruiz said. "This is an act of violence and it has no space in our community and no space for anyone who claims to be a Muslim."
Muslims around the world are currently taking part in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims retrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset in order to reconnect spiritually.
"This is totally the opposite of what we're called to do, especially during this holy month of Ramadan," Ruiz said.
A physician at Orlando Regional Medical Center, where many of the victims were sent following the shooting, echoed CAIR’s calls for blood donations during a press conference.
The physician asked anyone who wants to donate blood to go to local blood banks.
At the same press conference Imam Muhammad Musri, the president of the Islamic Society of Center Florida, condemned the attack and called for prayers for the victims.