What the Orlando Shooting Means for Muslims in the 2016 Elections

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have weighed in on the shooting in Orlando, Florida that occurred early Sunday morning, marking the second greatest mass shooting in US history (after Wounded Knee) with 50 dead and 53 injured
Both said they were stunned and saddened by the shocking incident on their personal Twitter accounts. Clinton weighed after she received the “devastating news”, and published a string of tweets calling for unity and support of the LGBTQ community shortly after.
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Trump said the “really bad shooting” calls for “toughness and vigilance” after thanking his followers for their congratulations on “being right on radical Islamic terrorism”. He was quick to criticize Preside Obama, asking if he is going to “finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism.”
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Another tweet quoted a supporter.
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While both presidential candidates and additional politicians have offered their thoughts on the Orlando shooting, this may tip the numbers for the November 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favor. Hate crimes committed by people associated with the Islamic faith will only expand his voter base as Islamophobia rises in America once again, creating prime opportunities to advance his campaign that has pivoted around expelling Islamic terrorism since day one.
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But this incident also calls for Muslims to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ individuals within and outside the Muslim community who have continuously suffered for their sexual and religious identities.

It is important to unify in a political climate that feeds on ignorance and divide by supporting the LGBTQ community that has continuously spoken out against anti-Muslim legislation and Islamophobic speech.

Instead of allowing actions like Omar Mateen’s to deepen the divide that is sending America in a downward spiral, bridge the gap that has separated so many from their 1st and 14th amendment rights in an effort to bring it back.