MADRE condemns the devastating brutality of the attack in Orlando and the bigotry that enabled it. We call for an end to anti-LGBT discrimination that produces this violence, and we stand firm against Islamophobic rhetoric that casts blame on all Muslims for the acts of an extremist few.
The power of peace and justice is even stronger than this destructive violence.
This power shines through in a message of solidarity we received from our partners at the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) after news of the Orlando attack reached Baghdad.
We have worked with OWFI for years to combat extremism targeted against women and LGBT people in Iraq, including ISIS violence. Our partners have seen and felt firsthand what this violence can do—the fear and the trauma it creates. And just like the hundreds of people who lined up in Orlando to donate blood after this weekend’s attack, they know that the only way to overcome that fear is to act in solidarity.
“Our hearts and our feelings are with the families of the victims,” their message said to us, “and we wish healing for all people, despite the pain and tragedy.”
These words remind us that, across the world, we are united in our sorrow and in our dedication to replace the bigotry of ISIS and the bigotry of Islamophobia with human rights for all.