Local Muslim community reacts to terror in Orlando

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MERIDEN--Members of the Muslim community are once again defending their religion.

As the horrific scene was unfolding in Orlando on live television, Zahir Mannan, the outreach director at Baitul Aman mosque in Meriden, was home fasting and praying with his family as part of Ramadan, a holy month in the Muslim religion.

He said, “It was appalling and disgusting because it was targeted towards a specific community.”

Mannan says they've welcomed members of the LGBT community into their mosque on several occasions, and they have accepted the invitations.

"We are Muslims who believe in the Messiah and our motto is 'love for all, hatred for none,'” said Mannan.

Mannan says the shooter, Omar Mateen, showed no signs of being a true Muslim as the massacre was carried out during this holy month. “It gets you closer to God. You eschew worldly things and quarrels, even minor quarrels, so the major calamity this guy brought on a community was going against the sanctity of Ramadan," Manann explained.

Click here for complete coverage of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

FOX 61 has spoken with this Muslim leader before. His mosque welcomed Ted Hakey Jr., the man who shot at their holy building hours after the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people last November.

Manann said, “What he heard in the press and media was not true in meeting a Muslim, especially one who believes in the Messiah, and we're happy. We see it as a blessing in disguise because it was an opportunity for us to share our viewpoints.”

Mannan says they'll continue to get their message out that Islam means peace and obedience.

The Baitul Aman mosque is hosting an event open to the public on June 25.