Orlando shooting facts are sparse and shifting

2016-06-17 09:07

In the wake of the dreadful shooting in Orlando that resulted in the death of a large number of people and many more injured, a political struggle is playing out on whether to define this sadistic massacre as an anti-gay crime or an act of “Islamic” radicalism.

Although it is difficult to make sense of the conflicting pieces of information coming out from the aftermath of the shooting, the massacre cannot be condoned.

Taking the sketchy reports as presented by the media of his ex-wife, family members and former co-workers into account, why Omar Mateen committed the crime or what was going on in his mind will likely never be known with clarity.

There are critical questions and anomalies about the motive that require probing and the official story that it was “an act of terror and an act of hate” and linked to ISIS simply does not hold water. Beyond his 911 call moments before the rampage there is no solid evidence linking him to the notorious ISIS or any similar groups. Moreover, it has been widely reported by numerous news outlets that he was a patron of Pulse nightclub and regularly visited LGBT websites. Furthermore, I have also read a report that according to a witness the Orlando gunman said he carried out the attack to get Americans to stop bombing his country.

These reports and the “inflammatory and contradictory” comments further add to the uncertainty regarding what may have inspired Mateen, who was born in the United States to parents from Afghanistan, to commit such a crime.

As more and more reports emerge regarding the mass shooting, I believe Mateen was largely driven by a combination of psychological, personal and emotional disorders. Such disorders or demons do not come necessarily out of religious beliefs or practises.

What worries me deeply is that instead of looking at the root causes of these mass shooting and killings, Western leaders are again amplifying the Islamophobic narrative when it has nothing to do with Islam and Muslims. In this regard more than 200 American Muslims, imams and scholars, have issued a joint statement condemning the attacks on the gay night club in Orlando on Sunday. (http://orlandostatement.com).

Any way you dissect the story; the number of mass shootings resulting in deaths is increasing in America. Perhaps it is time for the American government to re-examine US gun laws in spite of the pressure from gun lobbies.

Mass shootings and deaths by firearms are not unique to the United States. However, in America it is increasing. Why? Frequently, we read or hear of mentally or unstable individuals resort to mass murder in America. Signs are increasingly pointing towards a lack of weapons and ammunition control in America.

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