Senior Florida Imam To Media: ‘Do Not Sensationalize’ Orlando ‘Mass Shooting’

Posted on Mon 06/13/2016 by


TomBlumerpicture-66-1426647173By Tom Blumer ~

Imam Muhammad Musri, the president and senior imam of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, made a statement to reporters Sunday morning at 10:32 a.m. Eastern Time.

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit reports that “This was the first press conference held by Orlando officials after the massacre,” and that “No Christian or Jewish leaders were invited to speak to reporters.” Curious reporters, assuming there are still any out there, should wonder, if religious beliefs had nothing to do with Omar Mateen’s terrorist killing spree, why a representative from just one religion would be present to comment.

Readers will see that Musri’s alternately bizarre and offensive statement was received with seeming disbelief by the police officers standing behind him. At the 1:01 mark of the two-minute, 21-second video, one officer walks away, perhaps having heard more than he can stand about the need not to “sensationalize” the terrorist mass murder of over 50, which the imam characterized towards the end of his statement as a “mass shooting,” while appearing to imply that more gun control might be part of the solution to the (mislabeled) problem.

Musri opened with an assertion that he cannot possibly know is true — “the situation is completely under control.” It went downhill from there. Sadly, it’s a safe prediction that very few media reporters or pundits will fact-check his ridiculous attempts at dissembling and misdirection:

Transcript (bolds are mine):

IMAM MUHAMMAD MUSRI: Um, glad that the situation is completely under control, there are no other shooters, that this person is not known to be connected with a network or other people.

So the city residents and the visitors should feel safe — the city is as safe as the best city in the world.

And want to also caution many in the media from rushing to judgment and, from, you know, sensationalizing the story, uh, because, uh, we do not want the story to be shifted from the focus of what it is. It’s, uh, a horrible tragedy. Uh, we are mourning. We are sad. We are heartbroken, and, uh, it’s not really time (Officer in second row on left begins to turn and walk away — Ed.) for any sensational news just, uh, and, uh, rushing to judgment.

So, we should all wait until information, facts come out from the investigators, and we will all see what happened, understand it, and stay together, to work together to keep our community strong.

I want to thank Mayor Dyer, Mayor Jacobs, our city leaders, Chief Mina and Sheriff Demmings for their leadership, Ron from the FBI.

Uh, I think, many times in the past this has been discussed as the worst nightmare, and we are sorry to know that it happened to us. We don’t wish this on anybody else, and we hope this could be the last of the mass shootings that our country has been going through.

Um, I think as a nation, we need to look at this issue of, uh, Mass shootings, because we just had one too many today. And, uh, I think we should do something about this to stop the, the mass shootings that are happening all the time. Thank you.

Taking the bolded items sequentially:

  • The situation was not completely under control, at least not throughout the nation: “On the same day of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, police on Sunday arrested a man in Santa Monica who had weapons and possible explosives in his car, and who was apparently headed to the L.A. Gay Pride festival, the Los Angeles Times reported.”
  • As to the lack of “known” connections, I guess it depends on what one means by “connected.” At the New York Post reported before 10 a.m. that terrorist mass murderer Omar Mateen “had committed himself to ISIS before carrying out the bloodiest mass murder in US history at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday, federal officials said.” Mateen sure thought he was “connected,” didn’t he?
  • As to “shifting the focus,” I guess we’re supposed to take Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, at his word, that “this has nothing to do with religion.” Whatever you do, reporters, don’t look into the fact that Seddique owns a “religious non-profit” called the Durand Jirga, or that he, as the Washington Post has reported, “is an Afghan man who holds strong political views, including support for the Afghan Taliban.” The Post also reports that in a video posted “Just hours before the Orlando shooting … he seems to be pretending to be Afghanistan’s president, and orders the arrest of an array of Afghan political figures.” Gosh, why would anyone want to “focus” on that? (That’s sarcasm, folks.)
  • As to Imam Musri’s references to “mass shootings,” it’s as if the Orlando massacre is just like every other incident involving a far smaller number of multiple deaths with no religion-based motivation. Sorry, sir. It’s the worst terrorist attack — and yes, as seen in my earlier post, law enforcement characterized the attack in that manner many hours ago — on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.

As I also noted in that previous post, the attack might not have occurred, or the death toll would likely have been much lower, if Florida law didn’t make every bar in the Sunshine State a “gun-free zone.”

Cross-posted at .

Tom Blumer  has written for several national online publications  primarily on business, economics, politics and media bias. He has had his own blog,, since 2005, and has been with  NewsBusters since December 2005. Along the way, he’s had a decades-long career in accounting, finance, training and development.

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