At a press conference just hours after a Muslim gunman murdered 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations described the separate struggles for equality being waged by gays and Muslims as "profoundly linked."

"Homophobia, transphobia, and Islamophobia are interconnected systems of oppression and we cannot dismantle one without dismantling the others," said Nihad Awad, who is also a founder of CAIR, the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group.

It was a call that went beyond mere condemnation of the attack, and one that bridged a delicate divide between the Muslim advocates' support for individual rights and their own religion's strictures on homosexuality.

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