... what is being said & what the reality is
This has taken me most of the day to do so I'll post the lot without a page break - it will make me feel like you're going to read it all and I'll have a warm feeling.
I don't know about you but as I heard of the attack on the LGBT nightclub in Orlando last night the first thing that occurred to me was that it was a Jihad attack. I'm willing to bet that is the first thought that occurred to most people.
LET'S NOT JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS
However, the Washington Post greets us with the usual words of caution from the President of the United States who said it was too early to know “the precise motivations of the killer.” Well I suppose that depends on what you mean by "precise". The same article notes that,
"The gunman was identified as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard who was born in New York to Afghan parents. After his initial assault on the dance club, Mateen called 911 and pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, according to U.S. law enforcement officials."
I'd have thought that was precise enough for the moment.
GUNS ARE THE PROBLEM!
The Post goes on to tell us how Mr Obama takes the opportunity to repeat the warnings about gun control in America: "Echoing comments he has made after other mass shootings, Obama said the bloodshed served to highlight how easily people can obtain guns in the United States." OK, fair enough. I think everybody agrees that there is a problem with guns in America. Opinions differ as to how the issue should be dealt with but again, he criticises the use of legally obtained firearms and doesn’t mind smearing the vast majority of legal gun owners who wouldn't dream of performing such acts, yet does not point out an obvious issue – the Muslim connection – because that would unfairly smear a whole community. Surely that's a double standard?
Also by focussing only on the US he avoids this unpalatable reality. By conflating such events with other mass shootings only in America he seems to be ignoring the big picture that all others see – the common link of Islam. This is not helpful. Why baldly state "guns" are the problem while ignoring why people are using the guns.
Obama said almost identical things immediately after the San Bernardino shootings last December. Quick to condemn the means of killing but not the people who do the killing. In fact quick to diminish any possible link to Jihadism. Strikes me as an odd incongruity.
THE WEAPONS USED
The news media are not known for their accuracy (no pun intended) when referring to firearms. The Washington Post states,
"Mateen had legally purchased the two guns — which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said were a .223-caliber AR-15-type assault rifle and a 9mm semiautomatic pistol — within “the last few days,” according to Trevor Velinor of the ATF. An AR-15 is the civilian variant of the military M-16 rifle and is one of nation’s most popular weapons. A standard magazine carries about 30 bullets."
In another article referenced by the NZ Herald the Post states: "One common denominator behind these and other high-casualty mass shootings in recent years is the use of assault style rifles, capable of firing many rounds of ammunition in a relatively short period of time, with high accuracy."
If it was a normal AR-15 it will not be chambered in .223 but the slightly more robust military grade 5.56mm (known as "five-five-six"). A magazine holds cartridges, not bullets. ARs are styled after combat weapons and designed for high rates of suppressing fire with relatively small projectiles and are not at all accurate beyond the comparatively close quarters usually found in battle. A prospective mass murderer would be better off by using the cheaper & more accurate semi-auto hunting rifle like a Mini 14 or even the harder hitting, larger calibre Mini 30 both of which, in the US, can easily be fitted with high capacity magazines. But why let the facts get in the way of an emotionally driven rant about the evils of "military-style assault weapons"?
MENTAL HEALTH - AGAIN
The Post reports that,
"Mateen’s ex-wife said in an interview Sunday that he beat her repeatedly during their brief marriage and that Mateen, who was Muslim, was not very religious and gave no indication that he was devoted to radical Islam. “He was not a stable person,” said the ex-wife ... He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”
The wife's staements indicate that the American born man was a cultural Muslim during his marriage. How did he get the idea that he could beat his wife? Please see my previous posts here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Or was he really mentally ill? Please see my previous post on the uncanny prevalence of religiously linked mental illness among Muslims.
This appears to be yet another in a long line of violent Muslims to whom such aggression is attributed to a mental health problem rather than their belonging to a culture steeped in a Sharia worldview that dictates the awful treatment of women and other minorities.
And how might this pertain to the influx of migrants that so many in the West are eager to facilitate? Here is an American born son of migrant Muslims who brought with him a "cultural" attitude to women and much, much later became more devout in his religious observance. His father, Seddique Mateen, portrayed himself as a fan of the Taliban and an opponent of the Pakistani government. Can we ask how he was allowed into America?
His father said:
“'We are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking, we are in shock like the whole country. This had nothing to do with religion,' the gunman’s father said. However, he also claimed his son got very angry when he saw two men kissing in downtown Miami recently."
Yes that is pretty angry isn't it? So angry that rather than physically assaulting the men he went away and carefully planned an "organised and well prepared" mass murder. We're so glad to hear this Taliban supporter say that it has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.
Is it wrong to wonder about effective screening of migrants or whether the same might happen to the children of migrants in a future New Zealand?
DON'T FORGET TRUMP!
The Herald plucks another article from the Washington Post as it seems Donald Trump has embarassed himself again. We are told Trump has a "total lack of empathy". Really? Why is that? Well Trump posted this Tweet: "Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!" The article distorts the fact that this was the third of Trump's tweets, the previous two voicing compassion for the victims and goes on to say, in contrast, how compassionate Hillary Clinton was in her Tweets while ignoring her use of similar stern language once initial symapthies were expressed. This is truly cringe-worthy stuff & obviously one-eyed. A good deconstruction of the "arguement" is here.
I would very much like to forget Trump in this matter but again, for some reason, the Post and the Herald seem to be very interested in attempting to attack him through misrepresentations. It just all becomes extremely tiresome. Why?
THE MURDERER HIMSELF
The Herald correctly points out that Omar Mateen had previously had two encounters with law enforcement due to jihad related matters.
"The federal agency said Mateen was first interviewed in 2013 after he made "inflammatory remarks" to a colleague. "The FBI first became aware of Mateen in 2013 as he made inflammatory comments to co-workers, alleging possible terrorist ties," Ron Hopper an FBI special agent said during a press conference. "The FBI thoroughly investigated the matter including interviews of witnesses, physical surveillance and records checks."In the course of the investigation, Mateen was interviewed twice. "Ultimately we were unable to verify the substance of his comments, and the investigation was closed."
The co-worker involved was an ex-Policeman:
"Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim. ..."I quit because everything he said was toxic," Gilroy said Sunday, "and the company wouldn't do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people." Gilroy said this shooting didn't come as a surprise to him."
The company did nothing because he was a Muslim. This is a recurring theme these days. Organisations are too scared of the "Islamophobe" label. Even the US Army looks the other way when one of its Muslim officers teaches jihad and has contact with known terrorists before going on a mass killing spreee. Such is the fear of being labelled Islamophobic.
Others who knew him said what a nice chap he was, "Eleanora Dorsi, however, recognized Mateen's face as a friendly one who guarded her gated community in western Port St. Lucie. 'Whenever I saw him, he was very polite,' Dorsi said Sunday from her summer home in Connecticut. 'He was always a gentleman.'" Remember, we've already established that he was at the very least a wife-beater at this time.
Mateen had boasted of his ties to terrorist groups, yet was not considered in need of monitoring.
During the attack he recited "prayers to Allah". He also pledged allegiance to ISIS & mentioned Boston jihadis in his 911 call.
LEADERS OF WESTERN GROUPS REACT
AFP state that: "Florida officials also invited a local Islamic leader to address the media in a bid to preempt a possible backlash against the Muslim community…." And the leader of a Jewish LGBTQ group fears for Muslims after the attack.
In reality these much-feared "backlashes" almost never eventuate, but we hear a lot of worry about them whenever a person claiming to be a Muslim perpetrates the latest horror. Such acts of violent retribution are rare because in the West we do not hold whole groups of people responsible for the actions of one of its members. We also have that little tradition of "innocent until proven guilty" going for us.
Then there's this from ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio who must of course be very upset at what's happened to his fellow LGBTers, but takes things a bit too far in saying:
"You know what is gross — your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate," ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio tweeted on Sunday morning... But Strangio — who "spend[s his] life fighting Christian homophobia while being loved & supported by [his] Muslim family" — and his colleagues connected the shooting back to Christians and Republican politicians who oppose gay marriage. "The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months and people blaming Islam for this," Strangio tweeted. "No."
Gulp! Heck it's my fault again! Well, as I said he must be very upset. Let's give him some room to grieve and compose a response that aligns with the real world.
Ever vigilant, the Guardian reminds us not to give in to fear after the Orlando shooting. “We should remember not to blame all members of any other religion or political ideology for what one person does.”
Okey dokey. Thank you for that. Is it OK with you if we do give in to realistic assessment of our avowed enemy's threat doctrine so that we can understand and then counter that? I hope so, because I'm afraid that when we do that we will be charged with not loving Muslims and that will tend to shut us up.
REACTIONS OF MUSLIM LEADERS
Imam Muhammad Musri, the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, urged restraint in the hours and days following the attack in Orlando. "I want to also caution many of the media from rushing to judgment," he said. "We are mourning. We are sad. We are heartbroken, and it's not really time to...rush to judgment."
The Imam went on to say: “We condemn the person who did this, whatever ideology he had. No lives should be lost because of anger and hate.” Musri, who is also president of American Islam, said he does no know what could be done for what seems like one mass shooting after another. “I condemn all acts of terrorism, especially those done in the name of my faith,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking to see this in my beloved city of Orlando. We’re in mourning.”
Great. Sounds good. Oh, but what about this stuff:~
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shootings. They are kind of an influential Muslim group aren't they? Their leader does have a PhD in Islamic Law and History doesn't he? So there are some Muslims who fully endorse what happened yes? I know it sounds obvious, but they cannot easily be dismissed as "not true Muslims" with a man like that leading them.
It seems that Mateen regularly attended his mosque.
"For several years, Mateen regularly attended the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce and was there as recently as two days ago, said Imam Shafiq Rahman on Sunday. The imam said Mateen’s father and young son would pray with him, and Mateen’s three sisters were active volunteers at the mosque, which had about 150 congregants. “He was the most quiet guy; he never talked to anyone,” Rahman said ... “He would come and pray and leave. There was no indication at all that he would do something violent.” Mateen never sought any spiritual guidance from him, Rahman said. But Rahman’s 20-year-old son, a University of Florida senior who declined to provide his first name, recalled Mateen as an “aggressive person.” “It was just his demeanor,” he said. “He used to work out a lot.”
Unfortunately there is a long and disturbing tradition of Imam's throughout the West maintaining that the jihadi who appeared from the ranks of his Mosque never showed any inclination towards violence. Very long indeed. His statement also sets the tone for anyone else in the mosque who is asked about Mateen - "nope, didn't really know him sir". Who should we tend to believe? I think the son might have a better grasp.
Most disturbingly, Jihad Watch has a hidden video from April this year which was taken in an Orlando Mosque in 2013 where the preacher is teaching that the punishment for homosexuality is ............ Death. Sheikh Dr. Farrokh Sekaleshfar stated in 2013 that the killing of homosexuals is the compassionate thing to do. Wait a minute! This man is a Sheikh (an authoritative teacher) and has a Doctorate - does the learned Doctor not understand the peaceful true meaning of his own religious texts?
He says, “Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this.… We have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.” He also declared that homosexual sinners are Allah’s creation and that Muslims should never hate but that the ‘punishment for the act of homosexuality is one of love’. A leader at the Islamic Center told Channel 9 that he believes they have the right to have anyone speak and that Tuesday’s talk was a private event. He did not believe there was any reason to be concerned that Sekaleshfar’s talk could incite violence."
Now this man looks to be Shi'a while the murderer is Sunni, but the teaching regarding homosexual acts is the same.
They may need to rethink that.
Yes he was a real Muslim. Yes he committed mass murder as he saw it as a service to Allah which would gain extra merit if performed during the Holy month of Ramadan. Yes he was endorsed by the Islamic State. Yes he referred repeatedly to Allah and Scripture during the murders. Yes he regularly attended his mosque.
But no, we will be told that he had mental health issues. That he was an outlier and not in community with Muslims. That Islam does not condone the killing of innocents. Or gays. We will be told that we need to protect the Muslim community from violence and hate speech. All this while Facebook and other social media almost immediately actively censored and suspended any user who dares to shine the light on Islamic Shariah teachings following Sunday's attack.
Once again if we acknowledge all these simple and self-evident realities and say that this has something to do with the teachings of Islam and the example of the prophet Muhammad we will be told that we are part of the problem.