Bilerico Report

How did Omar Mateen become radicalized? American culture taught him

Omar Mateen

Omar Mateen Reverend Irene Monroe

June is of course LGBTQ pride month and parades and festivities abound month-long. Pride 2016 is particularly important because it marks the one-year anniversary of Obergefell v. Hodges, the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Boston Pride was held last weekend with its signature Pride Parade extravaganza on Saturday. On Sunday morning, I woke up to the devastating news of the Orlando club massacre. The gunman, Omar Mateen, killed 49, and injured 53 LGBTQ revelers and allies who just happened to be patrons at Pulse on its most popular club night, which is Latin Night.

Pulse, like most LGBTQ nightclubs across the country, was more than just a place to dance and drink. Nightclubs function as hubs for the LGBTQ community, where we can come together, away from the glaring and disapproving eyes of family, church and society, even in 2016.

But when LGBTQ people are caught in those glaring and disapproving eyes of homophobes, we can’t take for granted that the reprisal acted upon us isn’t derived from a momentary glance, one that has now come back to harm us or someone in our community — even if the murderer was either gay-curious for himself or gay-cruising for the kill as a terrorist.

In explaining the probable reason for the carnage his son created, Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, shared with news media an incident in Miami months before the nightclub shooting. He said his son witnessed two gay males kissing, which he said repulsed and outraged him, especially since it was done in the presence of both his wife and son.

Also, in trying to deflect attention away from Islamophobes who easily blame everything disapproving a Muslim does on the religion, Seddique flat out stated that his son’s attack had nothing to do with religion. And, Muslim groups worldwide followed suit in condemning the act.

Antigay theology is not particular to Islam. While the Quran has scriptures condemning homosexuality, so, too, do the Hebrew and Christian Bibles.

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