The Islamic Institute for Spiritual Formation joins its voice to the voices of Muslims worldwide and all peoples of healthy-minded religion in condemning the atrocities perpetrated against the innocent in Florida. 

We remind ourselves and one another that each and every human being is a purposeful creation of God, a being created in God’s image, and an earthen vessel into which the Almighty has breathed the Divine ruh or spirit.  This means that DIGNITY must always be our default, regardless of race, religion, socio-economic situation, educational level, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, political persuasion, lifestyle, or any other factor.

We remind ourselves and one another that beauty can never be served by ugliness, that peace can never be served by militarism and violence, that Truth can never be defended or supported by perversion and falsehood.

We remind ourselves and one another of the Qur’anic moral teaching that the unjust taking of a single soul is tantamount to the slaughter of all humanity.

The recent funeral and memorial service for our beloved brother Muhammad Ali, which occurred just before the abominations in Florida, illumine the fact that real religion bears fruit in the form of love, charity, generosity, healing, respect, appreciation of difference as a gift from God, moral courage, patient perseverance, and hope.  The hatred and sickness and senseless violence we have witnessed in Florida has no place in religion, and so we categorically condemn such acts and firmly stand in solidarity against them.

May God embrace the slain with forgiveness and mercy; may God’s healing and mercy illumine the wounded and the traumatized; may God’s knowledge and wisdom fill our hearts as we diagnose and treat the psychological and spiritual sicknesses that give rise to such abominations; and may we all come together and call the world to that which gives life instead of that which demeans and destroys it.

Timothy J Gianotti

IISF Director & Principal Teacher