Orlando Shooting: The Tired Script

As usual with mass shootings purportedly involving Muslims or brown people, there are a lot of unanswered questions, and mainstream news reporting does nothing to clarify the situation as they indiscriminately disseminate any and all snippets of information they come across without vetting it.

Already, authorities have declared then retracted that the alleged shooter had ties to ISIS. Apparently, he was also employed by one of the largest security firms (i.e., military contractors) in the world. The FBI also had had contact with him and had him on their watch list, which is a recurring theme with the past three mass casualty attacks allegedly perpetrated by Muslims (Boston Marathon bombing: Tamerlan Tsarnaev at one point was approached by the FBI to become an informant; San Bernardino: Rizwan Farook was also “investigated” by the FBI regarding connections with “terror networks”). Furthermore, like with San Bernardino, there are eyewitness reports from people in the bar who claim that multiple gunmen were involved. Of course, those claims will be quickly dismissed since “the only possible suspect” is already dead.

So, a lot of shady stuff that all Reasonable, Serious people will ignore because not reflexively accepting the neatly packaged narrative spoon fed to the public literally minutes after the shooting is to be a loony. I’ve come to terms with that.

Putting all that aside, Muslim orgs are going out of their way to show how pro-LGBT they are. There wasn’t nearly this much activism and heartfelt eulogizing after San Bernardino. Or even the Boston Bombing, if I recall. And if one feels compelled to make a statement of sympathy for the senseless loss of life, that is understandable, though, of course, the selectivity of these outpourings is hardly subtle, as if it isn’t notable and kind of disgraceful how it is always slaughter in one geographic region of the world that elicits these emotions, while the rest of the world suffers the same and worse many times over on a daily basis (often with our tax dollars and authorization from the politicians we so enthusiastically vote into office). Yes, it is cliche to point out, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

But I get it — I really do. If Muslims don’t mourn with enough verve, if they don’t wail with enough hot tears of rage, if they don’t rend their thobes with enough vigor in front of the television cameras, then people will think that Muslims are terrorists and that they should all go back to Islam to practice shania law in the dessert. By all means, do not let me interrupt the passion play.

Also, I blame Muslim orgs for failing to formulate a principled, authentic, intelligent, morally-compelling, compassionate public position on Islam and homosexuality. Christian and Orthodox Jewish groups did something like this a long time ago, articulating how homosexual acts are contrary to their faith and what that means, in a religiously principled way, for their public policy positions, e.g., gay marriage, labor law, etc. But for Muslims, it’s amateur hour. Did we just think we could fly under the radar and hope no one noticed? Now, we are at the mercy of this half-baked, highly opportunistic, highly manipulative binary of: Either you fully support LGBT rights and the LGBT lifestyle, etc., OR you are a bloodthirsty bigot on the verge of gunning down the nearest gay bar.

Of course, most of our “leaders,” i.e., those with the media exposure, threw this part of the faith, you know… the part that is ma`lum min al-din bid-darurah, under the bus a long time ago and were just waiting for the right moment and the right leverage to foist their “reform” onto mosques and Islamic schools. So they’re having a field day right now. Other leaders are more benign and have good intentions but are hapless in that they think they are upholding Islamic ethics when in fact they are undermining it at every turn and all but ensuring the next generation of Muslims will be religiously illiterate. And everyone else is a homophobic bigot obviously.

And spare me the “Now is not the time to argue about X, Y, Z,” which just means, “I can make all kinds of politically-charged, offensive, and objectionable statements on social media because I wrap it up in a veneer of sentimentality and popular opinion, and if you call me out on it or disagree in any way, that means you’re an insensitive, callous jerk, so shut up!”

EDIT: Also should be pointed out that the excuse that “Muslims need to condemn this shooting otherwise people will think Islam condones mass murder” is especially flaccid given that the past week has been nonstop Muhammad Ali coverage and memorializing. If the freight train of cultural capital that was Muhammad Ali did not teach these people that Islam is not a religion of senseless massacre, you think your stuttering press conference is going to enlighten them??

As usual with mass shootings purportedly involving Muslims or brown people, there are a lot of unanswered questions, and…

Posted by Daniel Haqiqatjou on Monday, June 13, 2016

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