After the tragic Orlando shooting, the Muslim community in Ireland is extending an invitation to the LGBT Irish community to join them in Ramadan celebrations.

“Last year we extended the invitation to the Jewish community and this year we thought it would be nice to extend the invitation to the LGBT community because they have been marginalised and suffered as a result of the Orlando shooting,” said the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council.

“Ramadan inspired and motivated us to reach out. People think that Muslims can’t reach out to the LGBT community, but that’s wrong. We can open our hearts and doors to anyone.”

Ramadan is an annual Islamic tradition of abstaining from food, drink and sex between dawn and sunset during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

The LGBT community have been invited to visit the Al-Mustafa Islamic Center at Blanchardstown on Saturday to join in Iftar, a meal that ends Ramadan.

“As more than one billion Muslims worldwide celebrate Ramadan by fasting and appreciating the blessings given to us, it is important for the Irish Muslim community to reach out to our neighbours as an example of true Islamic ideals,” said Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, chairman of Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council and imam of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre mosque

The Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council is a nationwide Muslim body in Ireland established to provide a forum where the Irish Muslim community can speak as one recognized voice on matters relating to their well-being in Ireland. They also aim to encourage individual Muslims and Muslim organizations to play a full and participatory role in Irish public life.

In July 2015, the organization held a “Not in Our Name” protest in Dublin in which they condemned the use of violence by ISIS as a distortion of their beliefs and called on Muslims in Ireland to adopt a strategy which would prevent radicalization.

They also released a document entitled “Irish Muslim Declaration of Peace and Guide to Prevent Radicalization,” a strategy against radicalization in Ireland.

Islam still remains a minority religion in Ireland although it is the most popular non-Christian faith practiced in the country. The 2011 census stated that 49,204 Muslims live in the Republic (1.07%), a 51 per cent increase on figures from 2006. According to census figures, 30.7 per cent of Muslims in the country have Irish nationality.

Dr. Umar Al-Qadri was among those who stood with the LGBT community following the mass shooting of 50 people in an Orlando nightclub last month.

“I stand with the LGBT community and I am against the marginalization of any group,” he told the Irish Examiner. “It should not have happened. We are a minority ourselves, we understand what discrimination is.”

“This is more of a case of someone with psychiatric issues. His wife came out and said he had some issues. He may be a Muslim but he does not represent Islam.

“The point is, first of all, 50 innocent people have lost their lives and it’s a tragedy.

“The disregard of human life is one of the greatest challenges we are facing in the world today. He may be a Muslim but he does not represent Islam.”

Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council welcomes the Irish LGBT community to Ramadan.