Local and national Muslim leaders are calling for solidarity with the LGBT community after Sunday’s attack in Orlando.
North Texas Muslim leaders have said they will stand with the gay community. Others are calling on Muslims who've been silent on this to speak out.
When news hit of Orlando's shooting at a gay nightclub by an American-born Muslim, the head of the DFW chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations says local Imams and Muslim leaders did not hesitate to speak out against it.
“We can't -- in a time like this, in a time of utter tragedy -- be in a gray area about this,” said Alia Salem. “We have to be unequivocal that justice is for everybody, regardless of your opinions about them.”
Salem says local Muslim leaders offered overwhelming support, evidenced in a ‘Dallas to Orlando’ vigil and march on Sunday.
Omar Suleiman with the Valley Ranch Islamic Center joined Jewish and Christian faith leaders outside the resource center in Oak Lawn.
"We are determined to cry together, to pray together, to stand together – straight, gay, Floridian and Texan,” Suleiman said.
At the same time, the Muslim religion struggles to accept gay relationships. But the Muslim Alliance on Sexual and Gender Diversity insists "this tragedy cannot be neatly categorized as a fight between the LGBTQ community and the Muslim community." It goes on to say that gay Muslims are "doubly affected.
“This right here is America,” said Suleiman. “Take a look around. No bigot and no terrorist is going to stop that”
Salem says she believes the majority of Muslims in her community are speaking out in support of the LGBT community. She's also calling on what she says is a silent minority to stand up, too.
“When people start to reclaim their lives, it's really important for those of us from a variety of traditions who may have a lack of exposure, a lack of understanding to the communities we are distanced from, including the LGBT community,” said Salem. “It’s important that we sit down together and start to learn from one another.
Salem says she's connected with the Resource Center in Dallas to work together more often. She also said she believes that movements in Muslim majority countries overseas fighting for gay rights likely see how American Muslim leaders are responding.