Photo Credit: courtesy, Orlando Police Dept.
SWAT team vehicle deployed at Pulse Club in Orlando, Florida.

A United States Muslim organization has expressed horror and shock in the wake of the Orlando Pulse terror attack this weekened that took the lives of 50 people and wounded 53 more — and determination to counter the ideology that spawned the extremism behind it.

“We at AIFD are heartbroken to learn of the attack,” wrote leaders at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy in a statement released late Sunday night.

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‘Our nation and the free world are in a long war that has been declared upon us by global militant Islamists and their Salafi Jihadi ideology,” said the American Islamic Forum for Democracy in a statement late Sunday night.

“It is said that in the month of Ramadan, the ‘devil is in chains,’ as the Muslim community focuses on bettering itself. However, it is clear that evil was behind Mateen’s attack last night,” the AIFD statement continued.

U.S.-born 29-year-old Afghan-American citizen Omar Saddique Mateen was identified as the shooter who entered the nightclub in downtown Orlando, Florida with an assault rifle and handgun and opened fire. After holding 30 people hostage from 2 am to 5 am, a local SWAT team managed to penetrate the club, free the captives and kill the terrorist.

The Islamic State terror organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, just hours after the attacker himself made a call to 911 prior to setting out on his “mission,” swearing allegiance to the terror group and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“We Muslims must triple down on acknowledging the deep reforms necessary and the responsibility of every Muslim in countering the ideologies that inspire these Islamist savages,” AIFD wrote in its statement.

“We will keep the Orlando community and all affected in our hearts and prayers as this investigation unfolds.”

AIFD is a think tank that provides a voice to the American independent Muslim reform movement. The organization is led by M. Zuhdi Jasser, a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, and author of the book, “A Battle for the Soul of Islam.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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