Chicago's LGBT community, CAIR stand together after Orlando massacre
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, Chicago’s LGBT community and the Council on American Islamic Relations are teaming up.
They are sharing a simple message that their communities stand together in support of each other.
In the hours following the massacre in Orlando, while much of the country was mourning the victims, Chicago’s LGBT community and the Council on American Islamic Relations began a dialogue.
For CAIR Chicago, the show of solidarity is motivated in part by a strong desire to distinguish Muslim Americans in the city from becoming radical extremists like Omar Marteen.
"It's important for us to explain that we don't feel the person who committed this act is in any way representative of our faith or our community,” said Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR Chicago.
And as the country was learning more about Omar Mateen and his hatred of homosexuals, in Chicago they were talking about how to keep the two communities from turning against each other.
“We wanted to join them and respond to those in the public eye who are trying to pit the LGBTQ and the Muslim community against each other to stay we stand together,” said Brian Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.
CAIR Chicago is also defending local Muslim Americans against political rhetoric that has recently found a national audience.
"Profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country...other countries do it,” said Donald Trump.
"Mr. Trump unfortunately is looking more and more like an opportunist charlatan who doesn't care anything for the well-being of this country,” Rehab said.
Meanwhile, as Chicago prepares for this weekend's Pride Parade, support from the city and surrounding communities has been overwhelming.
"I am encouraged by the outpouring of support that we're seeing from many sectors of the community for the LGBT community.”