Homophobia in Islam: To heal the effect, release the cause.

The above was my Facebook status 2 years ago and couldn’t have rung more true than this morning. Horrified and deeply saddened by the violence in Orlando.

To my dear friends in the LGBTQ community, I stand with you. You have been my friends, my family and always accepting of others that are different. You have always shown love and compassion. You have been the most loving, graceful and peaceful people I know. My heart is broken. I stand with you.

To my friends in nightlife, I stand with you. I know this is every community member’s worst nightmare from the owners, promoters, entertainers, DJs, security, and servers and the hundreds of others that work so hard organizing every event and trying to make a living by sharing a love for music and community.

To my friends and family in the Muslim community, I ask that we stand together in condemning this violent attack. Together we can:

- reject the explanation of the Orlando shooter’s father that the horrific attack on the LGBTQ community “had nothing to do with religion.”

- accept that while a real Muslim would not have ever picked up a gun and shot at anyone, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan, Homophobia in Islam is real.

- agree that while Homophobia exists in Christianity and other religions as well, a Christian did not pick up a gun and start shooting up a gay bar this time.

- encourage community mothers and fathers to check themselves and think about what they are teaching their children.

- reject complacency when our sons and daughters make homophobic jokes, use homophobic slang.

- refuse to stay silent when our sons openly state that they hate gays or when a community member states that they would never accept any child of theirs being gay.

- speak with our friends and family, particularly little ones, about what happened in Orlando and why Homophobia is unacceptable.

- stand with the LGBTQ community and nightlife community and accept while they may be different from what some of us know, we are all children of God on our own paths. Wish them love and peace.

- donate blood and participate in fundraising activities for the victims and their families

- reach out to LGBTQ community members and offer compassion and understanding.

- educate ourselves. Get to know members of the LGBTQ community to find out how lovely they are.

Rejecting Homophobia is not an acceptance of lifestyle. While I can get into a huge debate about why Homophobia one of the most ludicrous, ugly and illogical forms of hate, not is not the time.

So sad today. Sending love and light to my friends.