Rockford Muslim Community Expresses Sympathy for Orlando Shooting Victims

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The Stateline, along with the rest of the country and the world, still in mourning after the nation’s largest mass shooting in history. 

Forty-nine people died and more than 50 others were injured in a shooting inside a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning.  Police called it a gruesome act of domestic terrorism.

“We offered a special prayer for them last night, at this mosque, for them – and may God help them – those that are injured. May God help them recover,” said Shahid Naseer of the Muslim Association of Greater Rockford.

The attack was committed by a man of Muslim heritage who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a 911 call, recorded during the shooting.

Naseer says the shooter’s value system does not reflect that of the majority of Muslims.

“Just because this guy is calling himself a Muslim doesn’t mean that the Muslim community is responsible for this,” said Naseer.

Orlando victims are in the prayers of local churches. A Belvidere church sent a therapy dog to Orlando. The Rock River Valley Blood Center also helped by sending blood on Sunday.

“We received a call on the National Blood Exchange yesterday, asking for assistance to Orlando. We were able to provide assistance,” said the Director of Operations of the Rock Valley Blood Center, Heidi Ognibene. “We sent 8 units of O negative blood and 20 units of AB plasma.”

The Blood Center is also seeing an increase in donations in the wake of the tragic shooting. While others are donating cash to the organization Equality Florida, which set up a Go Fund Me page. Almost 40,000 people have already contributed $2.3 million dollars.

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