‘You do not speak for us. You do not represent us’

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As Muslim faithful around the world fast during the holy month of Ramadhan, fulfilling a pillar of Islam, the time for spiritual introspection has been shattered, and the peace disrupted by acts of deranged men, the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) said on Wednesday.

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In condemning the acts and offering condolences to families of the slain, the PCID noted that there is “no possible justification for such heinous acts.”

On Monday, an American Muslim man, Omar Mateen of Florida, went on an apparently hate-filled rampage killing 50 people and injuring over 50 more in a gay bar there.

After gunning down the hapless victims, Mateen called 911 and claimed allegiance to ISIS.

“Meanwhile, in Jolo, Sulu, our corner of the world, the Abu Sayyaf Group [ASG] viciously ended the life of a Canadian, one of its kidnapped victims, and callously threw the remains in front of the local cathedral, at the heart of the town,” the PCID said.

The ASG, it added, is reportedly drawing influence from foreign extremist groups.

According to the PCID, “the Qur’an forbids murder. “… if any one slew a person — unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land — it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”

It said, “The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, ‘Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well, you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong, you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong [even]if they do evil.’”

The PCID also noted that the non-Muslim world, already reeling from the terrorist attacks in the United States, Europe and Australia, are even more horrified with these cold-blooded slayings.

“We pray that Muslims and Islam will not again be blamed for the insanity of one aberrant individual or for the lawless acts of a gang of criminals,” it said.

American Muslim leaders and civil society organizations strongly decry the bloody massacre in Florida, the PCID added.

It cited a statement issued by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that said, ““We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured. 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.”

It said, “We echo the thoughts of Nihad Awad, executive director and founder of the CAIR , who called ISIS ‘an aberration.’ We, advocates for peace who constitute the majority of Muslims, echo his words and say with complete conviction ‘You do not speak for us. You do not represent us.’”

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