Blood Donation
Mahmoud ElAwadi, an American Muslim posted on Facebook his photo donating blood to victims of the Pulse attack. Facebook/Mahmoud ElAwadi

The Orlando attack has brought out the best and worst in humanity. While a Baptist preacher in Northern California refused to mourn for the bloodshed’s gay victims and praised the massacre, in central Florida, American Muslims who are observing Ramadan are donating their blood to survivors of the Pulse terror attack.

Ironically, while condemning the Pulse massacre, the White House said on Tuesday it would not lift restrictions on blood donations by gay men despite the 53 injured who need blood transfusion being male homosexuals. Explaining the White House stance, Press Secretary Josh Earnest told media, “We’re going to rely on scientific advice … It’s going to be rooted in the advice we’re getting from scientists at the FDA.”

In December, the US Food and Drug Administration revised the lifetime ban on blood donations from gay men and placed a one-year waiting period. FDA then said it would continue to conduct research and new data could result in further revision of the policy, reports The Hill.

Mashable reports that Mahmoud ElAwadi, an American Muslim posted on Facebook his photo donating blood to victims of the Pulse attack. The man wrote that he donated blood even if he cannot drink or eat because as an Islam follower, he is observing the holy month of Ramadan.

“I’m angry for what happened last night and al the innocent lives we lost … I’m sad, frustrated and mad that a crazy guy claim to be a Muslim did that shameful act,” ElAwadi writes. Although the wait time to donate blood is five to seven hours, a lot of Orlando residents queued even if the heat was 92 degrees.

In a show of global unity, erasing any distinction between faith and race, ElAwadi shares that he saw people of various ages give water, juice, food, umbrellas and sun block as well as veterans arriving to donate. Meanwhile, hijab-attired Muslim women distribute water and food to blood donors in line.

Blood Donors Queue
Hundreds of community members line up outside a clinic to donate blood after an early morning shooting attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, U.S June 12, 2016. Reuters/Steve Nesius/File

He believes that by standing together against hate, terrorism, extremism and racism, the Pulse attack would hopefully no longer be repeated.

However, on the extreme end, The Washington Post reports that Pastor Roger Jimenez from Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento said to his congregation that Christians should not mourn “the death of 50 sodomites.” He compares the death of the 50 - the 50th was actually the gunman – to 50 paedophiles killed which would make Florida safer. “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is – I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job,” says Jimenez.

Community leaders and a lot of people criticised Jimenez’s sermon and describe his words as bigotry and hateful propaganda. Human Rights Campaign spokesman Jay Brown says the pastor’s words were not Christian at all because “he’s preaching hate from the pulpit.”

VIDEO: The Christian Response to the Orlando Murders by Pastor Roger Jimenez