Orlando shooting denounced by openly gay MP of ‘largest Muslim community in Canada’

‘Hate can never be met with hate; hate has to be met with love,’ says Liberal MP Rob Oliphant

By Shanifa Nasser & Justin Li
CBC News | June 13, 2016

On the day of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, carried out against patrons at a gay club by a man officials say gave explicit allegiance to the militant group ISIS, an openly gay Toronto MP took to Twitter with a message he said “needs to be shared.”

In the hours following the shooting — which saw some 50 people killed and 53 more injured — Liberal Don Valley West MP Rob Oliphant denounced the violence against the gay community.

At the same time, he denounced anyone blaming the violent tragedy on the Muslim community.

. . .

I have heard often that people think of [the Muslim community] as homophobic and that is not my experience,” he told CBC’s Matt Galloway. “I have experienced homophobia among Christians, I have experienced homophobia among atheists, among all kinds of people, and, yes, among Muslims. But by and large their acceptance and generosity to me has been huge.”

Oliphant also expressed the need for solidarity among the two communities.

“I want to make sure that our two vulnerable communities, the gay and lesbian community as well as the Muslim community, stick together in this to recognize that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects me is that charter that protects them,” he said.

“Let’s embrace each other, let’s actually look each other in the eye, let’s smile and let’s say, ‘We’re in this together.'”

On Sunday, the National Council of Canadian Muslims echoed that sentiment, saying in a statement, “This horrific tragedy is heartbreaking.”

“As Canadians, we stand united against violence and discrimination against any human being,” it said. “Hate hurts us all.”

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