Rainbow flag reading 'Our hearts are with the victims of the Orlando attack' (© AP Images)
Vigils were held worldwide for the victims of the nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. (© AP Images)

Muslims across the United States strongly condemned the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, which left at least 49 people dead in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub.

“No religious tradition can ever justify nor condone such ruthless and senseless acts of violence,” said Imam Tariq Rasheed of the Islamic Center of Orlando.

From Berlin to Sydney to Seoul, there were worldwide vigils and messages of condolence for those killed and wounded in the weekend mass shooting.

In the United States, President Obama called the shooting “an act of terror and an act of hate.”

Imam Muhammad Musri, president of the group American Islam, said: “We condemn the person who did this, whatever ideology he had. No lives should be lost because of anger and hate.”

The Islamic Society of Central Florida posted on its Facebook page: “We stand united as Americans against any act of violence that tries to bring fear and division to our communities.”

The founder of MakeSpace, an Islamic center near Washington, told the Voice of America’s Afghan Service that “shooting innocent humans is a cowardly act that every Muslim and every human being should condemn.”

The massacre is particularly difficult for gay Muslims. “This tragedy cannot be neatly categorized” as a fight between the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community and the Muslim community, the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity said in a statement. “Tragedies like this often lead people to look for someone or something to blame, but we ask our friends to resist this temptation. Let us instead recommit ourselves to working toward a world without hatred and prejudice.”

Several Muslim organizations across the United States are asking their members to donate blood in solidarity with the victims in Orlando. The response has already been overwhelming, with hundreds of people in Florida and around the country lining up to donate blood. Officials at one Florida facility are so busy that they are asking donors to come back over the next several days.

This article draws on reports from the Voice of America and the Associated Press.