Orlando attack: US must not demonise Muslims, says Clinton

Donald Trump reiterates his calls for temporary ban on Muslims entering US

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, speaking on Monday after the massacre in a Florida nightclub, said the United States must find a way to keep the country safe without demonising Muslim Americans.

Clinton called for "statesmanship, not partisanship" in the aftermath of the shooting in Orlando while Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, urged the monitoring of mosques in the United States and reiterated his calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

Fifty people, including the gunman, the US-born son of Afghan immigrants, died in at the gay nightclub in what was the deadliest shooting in US history.

Ms Clinton, in several television interviews, said she would support stronger measures to prevent so-called lone wolf attacks and urged closer internet monitoring. She said she was committed to protecting the rights of Muslim Americans at the same time.

“We cannot demonise, demagogue and declare war on an entire religion. That is just dangerous,” Ms Clinton said on the MSNBC network.

She called for steps to prevent people who are on the US no-fly list from purchasing guns and said possible restrictions on assault weapons needed to be part of the debate.

Mr Trump was planning to deliver a speech on national security at 2pm EDT (1800 GMT) on Monday in New Hampshire. The topic was a change from his earlier plans to criticise Ms Clinton and what he said was her scandal-prone past.

Mr Trump said on CNN that the US needed better intelligence-gathering to prevent incidents such as the Orlando massacre.

“We have to look at the mosques ... and we have to look at the community,” he said. “And believe me, the community knows the people that have the potential to blow up.”

US secretary of state John Kerry on Monday warned Americans against pointing a finger at one religion or another after the Orlando killings.

“The worst thing we can do is engage in trying to point fingers at one group or one form of sectarianism or another or one religion or another. Those are not the values of our country,” Mr Kerry told reporters.

Minute’s silence

In Britain, MPs held a rare minute’s silence in the Commons to remember the dead in Orlando.

Speaker John Bercow asked all members to stand and stay silent for one minute to remember those who died in the attack at the Pulse nightclub.

Home secretary Theresa May, Commons Leader Chris Grayling, shadow home secretary Andy Burnham and shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn were among those in the chamber for the show of respect.

Thousands of people held a two-minute silence at a vigil in London’s Soho neighbourhood on Monday to remember the victims.

From 1800 GMT bars stopped serving, crowds fell silent and hundreds of balloons were released in memory of those killed. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was in attendance.

"We stand here today united together in solidarity with our US neighbours, our friends, our colleagues, our family and all of those affected across the LGBT community," Scottish National Party equalities spokeswoman, Angela Crawley, told Sky News.

A vigil was also held in the Canal Street district in central Manchester, northern England - an area of the city that is filled with gay bars and restaurants.

The Metropolitan Police said there was no intelligence to suggest an increased risk of attacks in London, but it has increased its patrols in LGBT-identified areas.

Pride events

On June 25th, Pride will hold their annual parade and related events in central London for the LGBT community.

Meanwhile, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Monday called the Orlando massacre a "very serious tragedy".

Speaking at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, the Buddhist leader called on the audience to observe a moment of silence for victims of the deadliest mass shooting in US history. “Yesterday, very serious tragedy, Orlando. So let us some silent prayer, OK,” he said.

“Although, one Buddhist monk grows quite sceptical about the effects of prayer,” he said. Real change required serious action, he said, adding that it was important not to lose “determination or courage”.

“Then on top of that, some prayer is OK, no harm,” he said.

Reuters

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