The Washington Post asked Muslims how the Orlando shooting affected them.

Here are some of the responses:

Simra Khan, 18

Surrey, England

"The general debate has pitted Muslims and the LGBT community against one another, almost entirely erasing the existence of [LGBT and] Muslims. However, through discussion on social media, I have discovered more LGBT Muslim voices to connect with, and this has become even more of a reason to try and make ourselves visible.

"On a personal level, I have been deeply hurt by these events because it is an attack on my identity coming from two angles: the massacre of LGBT people of color, as well as reactionary Islamophobic expressions. I have felt exhausted and lost, not knowing where I belong in this debate and being ignored, hated and vilified all at once.

"I am a practicing Muslim and lesbian. There is no mention of homosexuality in the Quran, and I believe that the notion of homosexuality being 'deviant' or 'unnatural' is appropriated from Christian fundamentalism."

Kabirat Bakare, 23

Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria

"As a Muslim, this act of terror sends me a signal that some of my brothers do not understand the teachings of Islam and the place Islam gives to human lives. Taking a single soul in Islam is synonymous to wiping off a whole generation. ...

"Homosexuality is not allowed in Islam. A practicing Muslim cannot possibly be a gay, bisexual or a transgender because all these are not allowed in Islam."

Shaun Ahmad, 32

Warrenton, Va.

"The first feeling I felt was sadness for the victims, as well as their friends and family. The second feeling I felt, unfortunately, was embarrassment. I know that I should not feel this way, because this is not what my religion teaches and it is not what I was taught as I grew up in this wonderful country. However, it becomes more difficult to try and continue to explain to friends that Islam is a religion of peace when there are so many of these events taking place across the globe behind the false cover of religion.

"The shooting in Orlando has made me feel sad at the current state of how my religion and my heritage is viewed.

"That said, it is my responsibility and that of all peace-loving Muslims in the U.S. to continue to lead by example and lead a lifestyle that is in line with the values of our religion as well as the values of our country."

Ateeya Manzoor, 36


"The awful truth is that while Muslims can't be held accountable for every act of ISIL-inspired terror, the deeply embedded belief systems in the practice of Islam in some countries inspire mutations of the faith that lead to incidents like these. ... 

"This incident has made me come to the painful realization that by defending the faith with an us vs. them argument, we sweep it under the rug. Extremist is a term I will no longer use to avert responsibility. In this case, I will state, instead, that Mateen was a homophobe with an assault rifle, whose perversion of Islam was inspired by flawed belief systems that all Muslims need to reflect upon now."

Erona Zeqiri, 20

Athens, Ga.

"Islam is a peaceful religion and ISIS, a mere group of outlaws, does not speak for our community. From the bottom of my heart, my sincere, heartfelt condolences go out to the entire LGBT community. I am so sorry that such a hateful person maliciously executed 50 members of such a peaceful community who seeks no harm, only justice. ...

"I don't mind homosexuality. I believe in love. Love conquers all. There are so many rules in each religion prohibiting numerous acts and it's absurd the general population picks and chooses which ones to follow.

"Yes, it is possible to be a practicing Muslim and be gay, bisexual or transgender. However, I am not one of them."

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