When I first heard about last night’s mass murder at the gay nightclub in Orlando, my first thought was that it was some kind of homophobic hate crime — some gun-toting, possibly closeted Christian asshat who wanted to bring horror to Florida’s gay culture. Then I discarded the thought because it seemed dated, like something out of William Friedkin‘s Cruising (’80).
My second thought was that the shooter was some kind of Islamic nutter. A half-second later my p.c. alarm went off. “Stop it! That’s the kind of thing Donald Trump or his supporters might presume.”
This morning several news outlets along with Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson identified the shooter as Omar Mateen, 27, of Port St. Lucie, Florida. In a prepared statement, Imam Muhammad Musri, president of American Islam and the Islamic Society of Central Florida, has urged the media not to rush to judgment. “It’s our worst nightmare, and we are sorry to know it happened to us,” he said.
The tally so far is 50 dead and 53 injured, which makes it one of the “worst” (i.e., highest body count) mass shootings in U.S. history.
9:50 am Pacific Update: The Twitter pigs (Glenn Kenny, et. al.) are objecting to this post. Apparently because I mentioned a suspicion I had last night that the Orlando shooter might be Islamically motivated. The remainder of the post is all reported fact.
“If the attack in Orlando is related to terrorism, it bears noting that it occurred during the holy month of Ramadan, historically a time when Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have ramped up attacks, in the belief that their acts of violence will bring them greater rewards in the afterlife.
“During his annual pre-Ramadan speech last month, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, an Islamic State spokesman, called on lone wolves in the West to use the holy month as a time to carry out attacks in the group’s name: ‘Make it, Allah permitting, a month of hurt on the infidels everywhere,’ he said, according to a translation provided by the SITE Intelligence Group.
“Mr. Adnani went on to identify Europe and the United States as preferred targets. ‘The smallest action you do in the heart of their land is dearer to us than the largest action by us,’ he said, according to the translation.
“He addressed supporters in the West who might be hesitating because they could not reach military targets, and said killing civilians was encouraged: ‘We have heard from some of you that you are unable to do your work because of your inability to reach military targets and because you are too embarrassed to target what is called civilian targets. So know that in the heart of the lands of the Crusaders, there is no protection for that blood, and there is no presence of what we call innocents.”