Pride Vigil for Pulse Nightclub Shooting

June 14, 2016

The Openhearted Campaign was honored to speak at the vigil organized by Bloomington PRIDE for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub attack that occurred in Orlando, Forida on June 12, 2016. Founder Anna Maidi spoke at the event. See the video below for a full recording of the events' speakers (Openhearted speaks around 22 minutes in) and a transcript of the statement read.

Statement by Anna Maidi:

Hello everyone. My name is Anna Maidi, and I am the founder of a local movement called the Openhearted Campaign. This campaign was founded by Muslim-Americans for all Americans, and we hope to foster trust, understanding, and compassion between us all as brothers and sisters in humanity. I would like to now read the statement that the Openhearted Campaign released upon hearing the tragic news from Orlando this past weekend:

Sunday morning, a million hearts dropped when they checked the news. The worst terror attack since 9/11. The worst mass shooting in US history. 50 dead. 53 wounded.

The LGBTQ community had been targeted, we learned. Targeted by a man identified as Muslim. What a heartbreaking way to find our communities paired: one minority terrorizes another.

The Openhearted Campaign of course condemns this horror without hesitation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and their loved ones. Our hearts are with every person who thought last Sunday, “That could have been me.” We here at the Openhearted Campaign know that feeling well.

But let’s not stop there. Let’s write a different headline. We come from different backgrounds, we were built on different ideas, but we both know discrimination, we both know fear, and we both know what it feels like to be hated for something we cannot change about ourselves. Together we must stand in solidarity against hate.

Let us be friends. Let us be neighbors. Let us work together to fight homophobia, Islamophobia, and all forms of violence. Let us show the world how #openhearted we can be. We are all human. We all deserve love.

We will end with a quote from the statement of a well-respected Muslim scholar, Sheikh Jihad Brown, who puts it quite simply: “Narrow-minded stubborn intolerance and bigotry will only cause unhappy outcomes for all… all human souls are sacred first. All souls have civil rights first; full stop.”

I repeat. “…all human souls are sacred first. All souls have civil rights first; full stop.”