“I’m just tired of the finger pointing.”
For Amber Shaikh, the anger is rooted in frustration.
“Obviously Islam has nothing to do with killing innocent people.”
In fact, Shaikh, the project manager for Western New York’s Muslims, says it’s exactly the opposite. She says Islam is about doing good deeds and caring for one another.
After the mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday, all she can do is shake her head at the assumptions about Muslim people as a whole.
“The ignorance. It just makes me roll my eyes basically. It’s just like the ignorance out there, you jus t assume that all Muslims are the same, when we’re not. We’re not monolithic. We’re all different, we all have different view points.”
She says the latest shooting is really a call to come together, not just for Muslims, but for all religions, sexual orientations, and races.
“I think we should all unite as a community, get out of our bubbles and get off our couches, and go out there and speak out against social injustice for anyone, for the hate crimes that’s happening for anyone, not just for the Muslim community.”
She says it’s a humanitarian issue, a need for compassion.
“We need to focus on homophobia, we need to focus on marginalized groups like Muslims who have been bullied and physically and verbally attacked.”
Her goal is to make sure all hate crimes come to a stop. Whether it be against herself or the LGBTQ community, Shaikh is asking for unity and understanding.