Two helpful responses to Orlando

There have been the expected bend-over-backwards apologias in the wake of the Orlando shooting, and so it’s important to hold up two courageous exceptions:

1. Heina Dadabhoy (right), “Erasing LGBTQ Muslims & Islamic Homophobia”, a lesbian [EDIT: bisexual; see comments] who knows from experience how entrenched homophobia is in Islamic thought:

“Non-Muslims prone to apologism for Muslims, please check yourselves, as I am tired of having to check you. I am tired of hearing all about how much nicer Muslims are to you than they ever were to me. I am tired of biting my tongue as you engage in cutesy ‘experiments’ where you don oppression drag for shits and giggles and positive results where people like us cannot so merrily do the same. I am tired of having to keep you at arm’s length because I don’t know who you’d side with were I to be murdered for living loudly and proudly about my un-Islamic choices.

“As for the Muslims and ex-Muslims doing the same, especially those claiming to have progressive values, the jig is up. Islamic homophobia is real. This is the time when you’re going to either have to acknowledge that Islamic teachings and Muslim communities are rife with rampant anti-LGBTQ sentiment, or for you to decide that your wish for Islam to be seen positively matters more than the struggle of your GSM siblings. I hope you choose the less-selfish route.”

2. Ayaan Hirsi Ali (right), “Islam’s Jihad Against Homosexuals”, the well-known human rights activist who refutes myths that either lax gun laws (according to liberals) or lax immigration laws (according to Trump devotees) are responsible for the Orlando shooting:

“The Orlando massacre is a hideous reminder to Americans that homophobia is an integral part of Islamic extremism. That isn’t to say that some people of other faiths and ideologies aren’t hostile to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community. Nor is to say that Islamic extremists don’t target other minorities, in addition to engaging in wholly indiscriminate violence. But it is important to establish why a man like Omar Mateen could be motivated to murder 49 people in a gay nightclub, interrupting the slaughter, as law-enforcement officials reported, to dial 911, proclaim his support for Islamic State and then pray to Allah.

“Following the horrific attack in Orlando, people as usual have been rushing to judgment. President Obama blames lax gun laws. Donald Trump blames immigration. Neither is right. There has been comparable carnage in countries with strict gun laws. The perpetrator in this case was born in the United States. This is not primarily about guns or immigration. It is about a deeply dangerous ideology that is infiltrating American society in the guise of religion. Homophobia comes in many forms. But none is more dangerous in our time than the Islamic version.”

Thank you, Ms. Dadabhoy and Ms. Ali, for speaking rightly where silver-spooned scholars and pundits fail us.

What gets lost in all the cries for more gun control are the ideological beliefs which so clearly drove Omar Mateen. He was reported by his fellow employees for being an Islamist, and interviewed twice by the FBI. He was on a terror watch list and then dropped off the list because there are too many people like him to keep track of all of them, which of course is what groups like ISIS count on. He invoked the Boston Marathon bombers and obviously meant to emulate them in carrying out a jihad attack. With or without legal access to guns, he would have in all probability killed a lot of people. He was ideologically driven to kills gays, as much as the Muslims who kill cartoonists of Muhammad. Orlando a hate crime? Sure. But hate crimes and holy wars aren’t mutually exclusive.

2 thoughts on “Two helpful responses to Orlando

  1. Thank you for your kind write-up. One thing I would like to clarify is that I am not a lesbian. I am bisexual.

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