Orlando mass murderer, self-hating homophobic gay rather than jihadi

This video from the USA says about itself:

Orlando Shooter’s Lover Comes Forward

22 June 2016

Many like to point out that the Orlando shooter claimed allegiance to ISIS before he attacked the Pulse nightclub. However, his motivations may have had much more to do with his feeling shame in his sexuality rather than radical Islam. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

Gay Pride banned in Turkey

This 2015 video says about itself:

Turkish police officers disrupted this year’s Istanbul gay pride march, violently dispersing peaceful crowds as they gathered at the city’s iconic Taksim Square.

Today, Dutch NOS TV reports that the governor of Istanbul, the biggest city in Turkey, has banned the Gay Pride march.

Turkish nationalists had threatened to attack the demonstrators.

According to NOS (translated):

Last year, police intervened against the Gay Pride, still before the event could begin. With water cannons and tear gas, they made sure that the participants could not gather at Taksim Square. Tens of thousands of participants were expected.

Fundamentalist Pat Robertson claims Orlando massacre victims ‘deserved it’

This video about a right-wing fundamentalist Christian in the USA says about itself:

Pat Robertson:Let Them Kill Themselves‘ In Jesus Name, Amen

15 June 2016

Today on “The 700 Club,” televangelist Pat Robertson reacted to the massacre at an Orlando gay club by making the absurd claim that liberal LGBT rights advocates have aligned themselves with radical Islamists and are now reaping what they have sowed.

Read more here.

See also here.

Homophobia and Islamophobia in Germany

Nazi anti-refugee slogan in Germany

This 2015 AFP photo is from Waltrop in Germany. Neo-fascists had defaced a refugee home with the slogan ‘Dogs, get out’ and a nazi swastika.

By Judith van de Hulsbeek, Dutch NOS TV correspondent in Germany, 15 June 2015 (translated):

Germany: hatred against Muslims, Roma and gay people grows

Today, 21:02

The dislike of Muslims but also of Sinti, Roma and refugees generally is surging in Germany; according to a study by Leipzig University among 2420 Germans. …

The university is doing this research since 2002 every two years, about far-right sentiment in German society, such as anti-Semitism, xenophobia and playing down the Nazi past. On these ‘classic far-right’ issues the results stay more or less the same. Around 10 percent of respondents expressed racist, anti-Semitic or Nazi ideas and think, for example, that the German nation is inherently superior and that Jews have too much influence.

In 2014 questions about specific target groups (eg. Muslims, Roma, LGBTQ people) were added to the study. There a clear increase is seen. Thus more than 40 percent of respondents replied they think it is disgusting when two men kiss in public. …

In Germany, some 100 refugee centers have been set on fire since early 2015.

Orlando massacre, homophobia and domestic violence

This video from the USA says about itself:

Orlando Massacre Comes After Lawmakers in U.S. Filed More Than 200 Anti-LGBT Bills

13 June 2016

In a tweet that went viral after Sunday’s attack on an LGBT nightclub in Florida, ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio wrote: “The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months and people [are] blaming Islam for this. No.” The attack has also renewed calls for lifting what advocates say is a medically unnecessary ban on blood donations from many gay and bisexual men. We speak with Hannah Willard of Equality Florida.

American Muslims Send A Powerful Message Of Solidarity To Orlando Victims: here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Openly Gay Muslim Imam Reacts to Orlando: Clubs Like Pulse are Safe Havens for LGBT Muslims, Too

13 June 2016

Authorities have identified the Orlando gunman as 29-year-old Omar Mateen. He was born in 1986 in New York to Afghan parents. Since 2007 Mateen had worked as a security guard at G4S, the largest private security firm in the world. … We speak to Imam Daayiee Abdullah, executive director of Mecca Institute. Imam Abdullah also is one of the first openly gay imams in the Western Hemisphere.

There are mounting questions about the conduct of the FBI in relation to Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people Sunday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. FBI officials have confirmed investigating Mateen in 2013 and 2014, but claim they concluded he was not a threat: here.

This 13 June 2016 video from the USA is called “How Many Shootings Must We Have?” Florida State Senator Calls for Gun Control After Pulse Massacre.

We Bought An AR-15 In Orlando In Less Time Than You Spent At The DMV. Purchasing a killing machine, even after a national tragedy, is just too easy: here.

This 13 June 2016 video from the USA is called Australia Stopped Mass Shootings After 1996 Massacre, So Why Doesn’t the U.S. Follow Suit?

This video from the USA says about itself:

Activist: Latinx LGBTQ Community & Its Stories of Survival Should Be at Center of Orlando Response

14 June 2016

On Monday night, thousands gathered in downtown Orlando for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub. A nearby church bell tolled 49 times—once for each victim. Most of the victims were young and Latinx. To talk more about the Orlando shootings, we are joined by Isa Noyola. She is director of programs for the Transgender Law Center, the largest transgender organization. She’s a translatina activist and a national leader in the LGBT immigrant rights movement.

This video from the USA says about itself:

When It Comes to Orlando Massacre, Domestic Violence Is the Red Flag We Aren’t Talking About

14 June 2016

In a new article for Rolling Stone, journalist Soraya Chemaly writes, “The Washington Post reported Monday that ‘although family members said [Omar] Mateen had expressed anger about homosexuality, the shooter had no record of previous hate crimes.’ But that depends on how you categorize domestic violence.”

Mateen’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, has come forward to describe how Mateen beat her and held her hostage. ThinkProgress reports that between 2009 and 2012, 40 percent of mass shootings started with a shooter targeting his girlfriend, wife or ex-wife. Just this month in California, a UCLA doctoral student gunned down his professor, prompting a lockdown on campus. But first, Mainak Sarkar allegedly killed his estranged wife in Minnesota, climbing through a window to kill her in her home. Last year alone, nearly a third of mass shooting deaths were related in some way to domestic violence. We speak to writer Soraya Chemaly. Her recent article in Rolling Stone is called “In Orlando, as Usual, Domestic Violence was Ignored Red Flag.”

Orlando homophobic massacre applauded by Christian fundamentalists

This video from the USA says about itself:

Pastor On Orlando Massacre: ‘These People All Should Have Been Killed

13 June 2016

Pastor Steven Anderson, whose hate knows no bounds, celebrated the deaths of 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando in a 4-minute mini-sermon that cited the Bible as justification for why they needed to die.

Read more here.

The ‘Reverend’ Anderson is not alone. The infamous bigots of the Westboro Baptist Church likewise applaud the mass murder of LGBTQ people in Orlando.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Muslim Denounces Terror, Promptly Called ‘Pig’ & ‘Scoundrel’ Anyway

13 June 2016

A Florida Imam who went on CNN Sunday morning to express condolences to the victims and families of the horrific shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando is now on the receiving end of threats and attacks on social media.

Read more here.

U.S. GUN DEATHS IN A WORLD OF THEIR OWN In Japan, your chances of dying from a gun are the equivalent of being killed by a lightning strike in the U.S. [NYT]

RECORD DONATIONS FOR ORLANDO “A GoFundMe initiative to raise money for the victims and families of the mass shooting at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, raised $1 million faster than any campaign in the platform’s history.” [HuffPost]

Glenn Greenwald on homophobia and Islamophobia: here.

Orlando G4S murderer ‘an alcoholic closet gay’

This video from the USA says about itself:

Orlando Nightclub Shooting Points Out HOMOPHOBIC Blood Donation Ban

13 June 2016

After the mass shooting in Orlando, many men were turned away from blood banks because of a ban on blood donations from gay men. John Iadarola, Ana Kasparian, Michael Shure and Jimmy Dore discuss on The Young Turks.

A report from the USA, 13 June 2016:

The FBI is looking into the possibility that Omar Mateen visited Pulse nightclub and tried to communicate with some of its patrons on a gay dating app before he gunned down 49 people at the club in Orlando, authorities told NBC News on Monday.

From the Orlando Sentinel in the USA, 13 June 2016:

FORT PIERCE — At least four regular customers at the Orlando gay nightclub where a gunman killed 49 people said Monday that they had seen Omar Mateen there before.

“Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” Ty Smith said.

Orlando gunman had used gay dating app and visited LGBT nightclub on other occasions, witnesses say: here.

From the New York Times in the USA, 13 June 2016:

The government investigation could take months, but an early examination of Mr. Mateen’s life reveals a hatred of gay people and a stew of contradictions. He was a man who could be charming, loved Afghan music and enjoyed dancing, but he was also violently abusive. Family members said he was not overly religious, but he was rigid and conservative in his view that his wife should remain mostly at home. The F.B.I. director said on Monday that Mr. Mateen had once claimed ties to both Al Qaeda and Hezbollah — two radical groups violently opposed to each other. …

… within six months he had found work with G4S, a large private security company that has won large government contracts for work both in the United States and abroad. …

She [Mateen’s ex-wife] said that Mr. Mateen might have been gay but chose to hide his true identity out of anger and shame. …

Ms. Yusufiy said that her ex-husband had told her that he frequented nightclubs before their marriage, but that he did not tell her they were gay clubs. …

Mr. Mateen’s father, Seddique Mir Mateen, was unequivocal on Monday that his son had committed an “act of terrorism.” But the elder Mr. Mateen and other family members said they were still puzzled why a young man who had never been particularly religious is now being tied to the Islamic State [ISIS]’s murderous ideology.

Orlando attack: Gunman’s ‘struggle with his true sexuality’ could have made him snap: here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Orlando Muslim Community Reacts To The Pulse Tragedy… (w/Guest: Rasha Mubarak)

13 June 2016

Rasha Mubarak with CAIR Orlando joins guest host Richard Eskow to discuss the tragic events at the Pulse nightclub.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

The Orlando massacre and the 2016 US election

14 June 2016

As the staggering scale of Sunday’s massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida continues to sink in, it is impossible to ignore the fact that both major capitalist parties have lost no time in attempting to exploit this tragedy for the most reactionary purposes.

The blood of the victims has barely dried. Many questions remain about the precise confluence of religious, right-wing, homophobic and other motives that drove the shooter, Omar Mateen, who died in a hail of police gunfire. But this stopped neither the Democratic nor the Republican presumptive presidential candidate from rushing to deliver back-to-back speeches Monday arguing for an escalation of war abroad and repression at home.

Democrat Hillary Clinton declared the slaughter of 49 innocent people at the gay nightclub in Orlando an example of “the barbarity that we face from radical jihadists.” Republican Donald Trump told his supporters that the massacre was the product of “importing radical Islamic terrorism into the West through a failed immigration system.”

What information has emerged about the man who carried out the massacre has little in common with the rhetoric and prescriptions offered by the two candidates.

First of all, he was a New York-born citizen of the US, not an immigrant. Coworkers, family members and others have described him as harboring pathological hatred not only for gays, but also for African-Americans, whom he regularly referred to using the “N”-word, saying they all should be killed. This kind of racism is the stock-in-trade not of ISIS or Al Qaeda, but rather of white supremacists within the US itself, the same elements who have been responsible for many homophobic attacks.

Associates have also described Mateen as mentally ill and emotionally unstable, characteristics that apply equally to virtually all those who have been involved in such atrocities. How could it be otherwise given the profoundly abnormal, antisocial and random character of these acts?

That in the midst of the mayhem he dialed 911 to declare his allegiance to ISIS is not taken seriously by even the FBI and police as an indication of actual contact with the Islamist militia. Moreover, late Monday reports surfaced that Mateen had himself regularly visited the Pulse night club, drinking heavily there, and had been active on the gay chat and dating app Jack’d.

The wider tragedy is that this type of atrocity happens in the US with terrible frequency. Mass shootings occur literally on more than a daily basis.

Given this reality, it is not possible to understand a tragedy like the Orlando massacre merely by examining the motives of the individual responsible. When a society produces a significant number of people suffering from traumatic mental problems who then go on to commit mass murder, this can only be an expression of something deeply diseased within the society itself.

Such incidents have grown in frequency in tandem with the endless wars the US has waged abroad since the first Gulf War of 1991, as well as the unprecedented growth of social inequality.

The bloodiest of these events was the April 1995 truck bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh, a deeply alienated Gulf War veteran who became involved with right-wing militia circles. That attack killed 168 people and wounded hundreds more.

Other massacres in the intervening years that stand out in terms of the death toll include:

Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, where two students killed 13 people and wounded 24.

Virginia Tech in 2007, where a student killed 32 people and wounded 17 others before taking his own life.

The American Civic Association in Binghamton, New York in 2009, where a 42-year-old Vietnamese immigrant killed 13 people and wounded four others before killing himself.

Fort Hood, Texas, also in 2009, where Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded 30.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where in 2012 Adam Lanza killed 26 people—most of them young children—before killing himself.

The Washington Navy Yard in 2013, where a former Navy reservist killed 12 people before police shot him dead.

The June 2015 Charleston, South Carolina church massacre, in which a 21-year-old white gunman killed nine African-Americans at a prayer service, saying afterwards he had hoped to ignite a race war.

The Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, where, in December 2015, Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, killed 14 people before losing their own lives in a shootout with police.

Smaller incidents in which three, four or five people are killed go largely unnoticed.

Neither the politicians nor the media care to examine the social roots of this endless round of mass slaughter.

The cynical and dishonest speeches given by Clinton and Trump Monday sought not to enlighten the public as to the real nature of this problem, but rather to pollute the political environment and lower the consciousness of the American people. In essence, despite mutual denunciations, there was little difference between them.

Both speeches were designed to exploit the tragedy suffered by the innocent individuals who lost their lives, along with their families and friends, in order to legitimize a preexisting reactionary agenda. Both candidates called for “ramping up” US military interventions and bombings in the Middle East, as if the war-ravaged people of the region are responsible for the attack on an Orlando nightclub. The transparent aim is to exploit the tragedy in Orlando in an attempt to erode the antiwar sentiments of the American people so as to further not only escalation in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, but also war threats against Russia and China.

Clinton spoke of acting to “harden our own defenses” within the US itself, by which she means an intensification of attacks on democratic rights and the utilization of police-state methods.

For his part, Trump delivered a fascistic rant in which he repeated his proposal for a ban on Muslims entering the country and his rabid anti-immigrant chauvinism, demagogically linking immigrants not only to terrorism but also to falling wages and decaying infrastructure. He charged that Muslims as a whole in the US “know what’s going on” in relation to planned attacks and would have to either “cooperate” or face “big consequences.”

Both candidates cynically posed as the best friend of the gay community in a transparent bid to corral a new constituency behind their reactionary proposals.

It was Clinton, however, who delivered the most telling—and chilling—line, invoking the September 11, 2001 terror attacks and declaring in conclusion that it was “time to get back to the spirit of those days, spirit of 9/12.”

It was in the “spirit of 9/12” that Washington launched, based on lies, the illegal war of aggression against Iraq. It was in this same “spirit” that it passed the Patriot Act, opened the prison camp at Guantanamo, set up a network of “black site” torture centers around the world, and arrogated to the president the right to indefinitely detain anyone, including US citizens, without charges or trials. Clinton supported all of these measures and now wants to cash in on the 49 deaths in Orlando to retroactively justify her own political crimes that led to the killing, wounding and displacement of millions.

To the extent that Clinton asserts as fact a direct link between the Orlando gunman and ISIS “genocide” in the Middle East—a claim that is highly questionable—it is necessary to point out her own role in the emergence of ISIS out of the social devastation and fomenting of sectarian conflict at the hands of American imperialism, with her active and enthusiastic support, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

American workers and youth must take the bipartisan reaction to the terrible events in Orlando as a serious warning of what is being prepared, no matter which party wins the November election.