When news broke that an American-born Muslim man carried out an attack that left at least 49 dead in an Orlando nightclub, many LGBT Muslims around the world found themselves dreading the conversations that were about to ensue. On social media, some remarked at how their two seemingly antagonistic identities clashed.
But Canada's most famous LGBT-friendly mosque is providing a safe and inclusive space for those coping with this tragedy.
The Toronto Unity Mosque was co-founded in 2009 by El-Farouk Khaki, a Canadian refugee and immigration lawyer. Khaki, who acts as the mosque's coordinating imam, said hundreds of people are part of his congregation and that they even Skype in Muslims from around the world during the Juma prayer on Fridays. He says that up to 50 percent of his congregation do not identify as LGBT, but all of them are allies of the community.