Massacre at LGBT nightclub in Orlando

There will be no doubt you’ve all heard about the massacre at Pulse gay club in the state of Orlando, Florida, which has left the region in a state of shock and mourning which has felt all across America. The reaction to the news has been felt all over the world including France, UK, Australia who all joined in to show their support, many held candle-lit vigils. In the streets of Soho, London, the streets were packed with people paying tribute to the LGBT victims.

Around 50 have been killed and 53 more were left with serious injuries and has been reported as the largest terrorist attack sine 11 September, 2001 and the biggest mass killing since the Holocaust. If anything, what has this taught us as a society? That the LGBT community still faces discrimination on a frequent basis and that the battle for tolerance and acceptance is still far from over. Also, it reminds us that the ever growing threat from terror organisations.

But what’s this got to do with terrorism? The gunman, Omar Mateen, an American citizen of Afghan decent swore alliance to I.S, though he didn’t actually act on any orders from the known terror group. But reports believe that the attacks were I.S inspired. Both current president Barack Obama and presidential hopeful Donald Trump both spoke out. Trump, not surprisingly, used the incident to prop his campaign on banning all Muslims from America. Sorry Mr Trump, sir, but using a tragedy to help with your presidential campaign is just wrong on all levels. Obama spoke out to show his support and condolences to the victims saying that tighter gun control was needed and hit out at Trump claiming that his language demonises all Muslims and immigrants. You didn’t need a shrink to tell you that.

In all seriousness though, someone needs to tell Trump that both his language and political manifesto risk treading into some very dark waters. Shame on you Trump.

Obama, on the other hand, warned that you cannot tar all Muslims with the same brush and going into conflict with a religion you risk doing the terrorists work for them. He isn’t wrong there.

Back to the earlier point. In later investigations it was revealed that the gunman had made previous visits to the Pulse gay club before and had supposedly been on gay dating websites. Now why’s this relevant? In Islam homosexuality is looked down upon, and if a gay, lesbian or bisexual man or woman revealed their orientation then they’d have to make a choice to either forsake their faith to embark on a ‘sinful’ life or repress their sexuality in order to continue practising Islam. This has been noted to being one of the factors which led to Omar Mateen carrying out his attack.

Another was that he saw two men kissing each other in front of his family. In later interviews when Mateen’s dad was questioned about his son’s possible homosexuality he was very adamant that he couldn’t be gay and that he was a family man. Hate to tell you this sir, but family men don’t go around killing people unless there’s a good reason for it and seeing two innocent gay men kissing Is hardly a reason.

Out of all of this both the LGBT and Muslims communities stood together as a sign of peace and solidarity and to show that these attacks are unacceptable.

Another question that this has raised was that is it really unacceptable for Muslims to be both Muslims AND gay. Muslim drag queen Asifa Lahore stated in a TV interview that it’s acceptable to be both but that the Koran teachings are open to interpretation and that at the end of the day only your god can judge you.

Well he has got a point there.

Written by Adam Humphreys

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