JVP’s Network Against Islamophobia issues the following statement in response to the horrific attack at “Latin Night” at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016:
We are grieving with and for the Orlando LGTBQ community, and, in particular, the queer and trans Latinx communities that were the targets of this horrifying attack. Our hearts break for all those lost and their loved ones, for all those injured and traumatized.
We cannot ignore that this murderous attack takes place in the context of a political climate in this country where homophobic, transphobic, racist, and Islamophobic laws are commonplace, and where the same politicians promoting those laws adamantly oppose any restrictions on guns and assault weapons.
We are outraged that some of those same politicians–as well as the media, police, and others– are using this tragedy to demonize the Muslim community. It is appalling to instrumentalize the horror of these murders in order to spread dangerous Islamophobic messages, including characterizing Islam as uniquely threatening and homophobic. We know that such anti-Muslim narratives contribute to increased harassment and violence against Muslims or those perceived as Muslim, including LGBTQ members of those communities.
As LGBTQ people and allies, let us respond in ways that reflect a proud queer history of fighting back against all hatred and oppression. As we mourn all those who were murdered and reflect on this tragedy, we must continue to put all our energies into standing strong against homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, racism, and all forms of hatred, and to build for justice within and among our communities.