When American-Afghanistani Omar Mir Seddique Mateen saw two men kiss in the American city of Miami, he was outraged.
Previously, he had been married to an Uzbekistani woman, but the marriage fell apart a few months in when he started to abuse her. She claims he may have been bipolar.
His friends and family (including his ex-wife) say he wasn’t particularly religious, that it was unlikely that his religion had anything to do with it.
These words, bearing these facts, will fall on deaf ears.
In the social networking sphere, Donald Trump has already started to make the rounds. “What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leader is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough.”
This attack might as well have sealed Trump’s rise to the top of the so-called greatest country in the world.
Yes, these are the things that matter. That you were right, that you asked for a ban on a people whose diversity ranges from the likes of you to the likes of me.
This is the primary endgame in the American presidential run: That you called it. Remember, I told you so? Hah, now 50 (mostly gay, one presumes) people are dead.
For the primary candidate of a party that was vehemently against the legalisation of gay marriage, this is rich.
As the sound of the phones of those who died fill the air, their families desperate to find out if they’re alive, the world deems it such that you belong to a group who is the enemy of the day. And it’s difficult to convince someone otherwise when their minds are already made up
Who can blame Trump and his increasing number of followers, though? I can barely write the word “gay” without looking over my shoulder, asking my editor for approval, making sure I’m not offending any religious (or non-religious) sentiments, and that I’m not condoning homosexuality in anyway.
Terrorism brings out the worst in the best of us.
Perhaps they do the same. Foreign ideologies in your native land are scary business.
They bring the element of risk. Sure, objectively, one could perhaps conclude that Trump has intelligent, objective, rational supporters.
They think to themselves: Of course, not all Muslims are terrible people with intentions of burning our country and everything we believe in, down to the ground. What are you talking about, I have Muslims friends. I’m perfectly fine with them.
But to paraphrase Trump, until we find what the hell is going on, until we figure out a foolproof solution to this problem, why not just (temporarily, no doubt) put up a wall to ensure our safety? Why be sorry, when you can be safe within the confines of a more accepting country, a more accepting ideology?
I’m sorry, dear Muslim. It seems that you were born in the wrong religion in the wrong time. Sure, one could look elsewhere to place the blame.
Maybe in the words of Omar Mateen’s ex-wife, who believed he was mentally unstable (much like so many other non-Muslims).
Or in the words of his parents, who said he really wasn’t that religious, that his religion probably had nothing to do with it (like so many other non-Muslims).
Or in the incompetence of the FBI who had investigated him beforehand and deemed him to not be a threat (like other non-Muslims).
In the American gun laws, which make it so easy for any Tom, Dick, Harry, Abdul, or Kuddus with mental disorders and a history of federal investigation to walk into a store and buy an assault rifle and a pistol sans a proper background check or waiting period (like other mentally unstable non-Muslims).
But one won’t. You, 21st century Muslim and unofficial spokesman for your people, are merely unlucky.
You are the collateral damage of a war being fought with bullets and words. The bullets kill your fellow human beings. The words turn you into animals to be caged and slaughtered.
There’s little you can do, there’s little room for escape. How do you sell a more “peaceful” ideology to an individual with the wrong currency? Can you save him from a country under a dictator? Can you give food and shelter to his family? Can you save his brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, mother and father, from the destruction that you yourself have created and you yourself continue to exacerbate?
Can you give him lasting peace and happiness? Can you give him the approval of God, the Creator of the universe? Can you give him heaven?
Can you get a certain individual, from Fort Pierce, Florida, to look at two gay men kissing and not feel utter disgust and repulsion?
And, even if you could, how many of these men and women would you convert, how many of these deluded-yet-disillusioned individuals could you cater to before your mouth and wallet ran dry?
I know, dear Muslim, that it’s difficult to speak for 1.6 billion people. But that’s what you’re going to have to do.
As the sound of the phones of those who died fill the air, their families desperate to find out if they’re alive, the world deems it such that you belong to a group who is the enemy of the day.
And it’s difficult to convince someone otherwise when their minds are already made up.