Little Rock Imam, 'Islam Means Peace,' Grieves Orlando Massacre

Jun 14, 2016

Imam Mahmoud Hassanein of the Islamic Center of Little Rock spoke with KUAR Tuesday.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Imam Mahmoud Hassanein says members of the Islamic Center of Little Rock may send a delegation to Florida in solidarity with victims of Sunday’s deadly massacre at a gay bar in Orlando.

He expressed regret about Sunday’s killing and says his community is grieving the incident.

"This is the killing of innocent people who had done nothing," he said. 

According to Hassanein, Islam teaches that homosexuality is wrong, but it is up to God to judge and respond, not individual people. 

He says he worries that all Muslims, particularly children, will be subject to a backlash because of the actions of the self-proclaimed ISIS adherent.  

“I would urge mass media to be fair and to call just the one who did this horrible act, we cannot say that Islam, or all Muslims, or...No," he said.  "The word Islam is coming from the word salam, which means peace."

Hassanein says he believes Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States is un-American and that evil individuals exist on the peripheries of all religions.