The entire country continues to mourn the deaths of the innocent lives that were violently taken by a domestic terrorist on the morning of June 12, 2016. We also continue to pray for the recovery of the more than 50 who were injured while they gathered at a LGBT nightclub called Pulse in Orlando, FL to celebrate themselves and each other. The shooter was soon identified as Omar Mir Seddique Mateen (from now on, he will referred to as “the shooter”) and it was reported that while he was gunning down innocent lives he called 911 to pledge his allegiance to ISIS, which is considered to be a radical Islamist group. In return, ISIS posthumously accepted his pledge and declared him a “soldier of the Caliphate” in America.
The shooter’s act of terrorism is also being called a hate crime because, according to his father, he made a homophobic comment after seeing two men embracing/kissing each other. Recently, we also learned that the shooter visited the gay nightclub several times as a patron and also subscribed to a gay dating app. So did he commit this violent act because of his religion or Islamic faith, his hate for the LGBT community, or his hate for himself?
His Religion/Faith: The shooter attended an Islamic Mosque in the town of his residence, Fort Pierce so he was a Muslim. One of the most well-known sacred text of Islam is the Quran and according to a website about Islam Awareness, it does not condone homosexuality and considers it to be condemned by God. In fact, any sexual relationship outside of marriage between a man and woman is condemned as well. If you take time to read the text made available on this website, you will see that there is absolutely nothing in the text that instructs Muslims to hate or kill homosexuals. Soon after the Orlando shooting, several Muslim leaders organized a press conference where they showed support for the victims and strongly condemned the actions of the shooter. One of the leaders called ISIS an “aberration” and stated that they “never belong to this beautiful faith”. To hear more, you can check out the video below:
Disclaimer: The author of this post does not have first hand knowledge about the Islamic faith or its sacred text(s). All informationobtained from secondary sources and the hyperlinks are provided.
Based on this information, it is clear that it was NOT the shooter’s religion that encouraged, instructed or inspired him to hurt innocent people.
His hate for the LGBT Community: According to several news outlets, a few of those who socialized with the shooter prior to the killings described him as being gay-friendly saying that in addition to going to the Pulse night club several times over the past three years, he also visited others. A draq queen recalled knowing the shooter well and described him as very friendly and that he did not seem to hate the LGBT community at all.
His hate for himself: The more we learn about the shooter’s lifestyle, the story that is beginning to unfold appears to be that of a man that may have been struggling with the desire to live a life that his religion condemned. Again and to be clear, his religion (Islam) may not permit followers to engage in homosexuality (or any sexual relations outside of marriage) but it also does NOT instruct followers to hate those that do. The internal struggle between being true to himself versus being true to his religion may have caused him to loathe himself. Could it be that he hated himself for not being able to freely be part of and celebrate the LGBT community and hated those who were? He had to punish them and not because his religion said so, but because HE said so.
To be fair, the father of the shooter has stated to media sources that he does not believe that his son was gay and that his multiple visits to gay clubs and the downloading of gay dating apps were just part of his planning.
Like the rest of the country, this blogger is just trying to understand what happened and what IS happening. The common denominator for all of this is HATE (and anger). Hating others because of a lifestyle, a race, a religion, an opposing political view, etc. The shooter was definitely filled with hate but it is important to recognize and acknowledge the source of that hate…which was him. It was not his faith but rather his hate, that made him want to kill innocent and beautiful people.
Thanks for “listening” to me whine. Hopefully my whining has made you think. If so, tell your friends/family/colleagues that you heard it through the Political Great Whine!