Michigan has one of the largest Muslim populations in the country. Thus, discussions about the terrorist attack in Orlando that was carried out in the name of the Islamic State have hit home in the Mitten State. According to MLive, Dawud Walid – executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump should “be more presidential and be more responsible in their language." Walid was referring to statements by Trump, who reiterated his call to limit immigration from Muslim countries and criticized President Obama for failing to identify “radical Islam” as the source of terrorism against the United States.
For her part, Clinton responded this week on CNN to Trump’s criticism that she was too politically correct in her policy towards terrorism. She argued that results, rather than language, is what counts. "And it mattered we got bin Laden, not what name we called him ... whether you call it radical jihadism or radical Islamism, I'm happy to say either," Clinton told CNN. "I think they mean the same thing."
Clinton, like many Democrats, sees in increased gun control a solution to terrorism. Like Clinton, former Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) – the first Muslim woman to serve in Michigan’s House of Representatives – seeks a focus on gun control rather than religious radicalization. She was surprised by Clinton’s comments. According to MLive, Tlaib compared Clinton to Trump, saying “She actually sounded like him." Tlaib averred that it was “difficult” for her to listen to Clinton, and said that her focus should be “on what we have control over." Like the New York-born Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen, who gunned down 49 in Orlando, Tlaib was born in the United States.
After attending a memorial for the Orlando victims, Tlaib said her focus is on seeing a Democrat win the general election. Michigan has voted for Democratic presidential candidates since 1992. 
Muslims joined LGBTQ groups in various places in Michigan to express condolences to the families and friends of the victims. For example, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Center in Rochester Hills near Detroit offered prayers for the victims. In eleven Muslim-dominated countries, homosexual acts are punishable by death.
Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Institute of America, while admitting that the Orlando shooting was barbaric, pointed to factors other than religion that inspired Mateen in his rampage that should not be associated with Islam as a whole. Qazwini said "It's very easy to possess guns — to blame it on faith and radicalism only is not fair." He reiterated familiar tropes of Muslims and leftists that Islam is peaceful and that terrorism is merely a distorted version of the religion. He also bashed Trump for the latter’s alleged pandering for votes and encouraging bigotry and extremism. what he sees as an attempt to gain votes from a tragedy by fanning the flames of bigotry and extremism.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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