Baltimore Muslim community speaks out about Orlando shooting

Posted at 11:37 PM, Jun 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-15 05:58:08-04
Mansoor Shams is like many other Americans. He served his country as a Marine, he's the president of a business and the proud father of four.
He's also a staunch Muslim who says Sunday's massacre at Pulse is in direct contradiction with his faith.
"Islam wholeheartedly condemns such sort of acts," Shams said.
Omar Mateen killed and hurt dozens at Pulse.
Mateen was reportedly Muslim and many believe there's a connection between his faith and a heinous crime. Shams thinks differently.
"There's a verse in the Holy Quran from a Muslim standpoint that says if you take one life it's as if you have killed all of mankind," he said. "If you save one life it's as if you've saved all of mankind." 
Shams came to the US when he was six.  His children are American. He and his wife are Muslims, active in their community.
"The only thing I can do is represent my faith, the best that I know it and that's what I continue to do," he said.
He does that by reading the Quran, studying his faith and educating people about a religion many misunderstand.
"If this was in fact the ideology of all Muslims, we would be in a very chaotic world  what the numbers represent is that that's not the case," Shams said.
Shams served proudly as a Marine as well. He believes if the positives are highlighted more often that then negatives, the world may start to see change. 
"We don't highlight the Muslim marines, often, we don't highlight the Muslim police officers often, we don't talk a bout the Muslim armed forces member that's laying right now in a cemetery." 
But when tragedy like this hits and there's any tie to Islam, this debate starts up again.
"So when people like ISIS or this gentleman that went on a rampage hijacked my faith, of course I"m saddened, it's tragic it's tough," Shams said. "There are a few nut-cases that are making it bad for everyone else."
For now, Shams chooses to let his actions speak for themselves.
Follow Nadia Singh on Twitter @NadiaSinghNews and like her on Facebook.