Written for Mvslim
Multiple sources have now confirmed that Omar Mateen, the shooter of the Orlando massacre, was himself gay. He often visited Pulse, the popular gay nightclub that he committed the massacre in. Eyewitness reports suggest that Mateen would get so drunk at the bar that bouncers would have to kick him out. He also had attempted to start dates on Grindr, the popular gay-dating application.
In terms of religion, Mateen’s parents have said that he wasn’t “Islamic” whatsoever. Colleagues and acquaintances have gone on record stating that he was really a “loner” and “social introvert”.
Yet, none of these revelations appear to matter. According to the media, what matters is Omar Mateen’s “Muslim sounding name” and his upbringing in a “Muslim family”. Like many other Muslims worldwide, Mateen can’t escape the “Islamic” label, regardless of whether he even practiced Islam or not. That’s the baggage of a “Muslim sounding name”. If his name is Ali and he shoots another man, media will say “it’s because of Islam”. If his name is Muhammad and he robs a store, media will say “it’s because of Islam”. If his name is Osama and he strikes a child, media will say “it’s because of Islam”. If his name is Farooq and he commits tax fraud, media will say “it’s because of Islam”. You get my point.
2 thoughts on ““Muslim Sounding Names” and the Orlando Massacre”
“Yet, none of these revelations appear to matter. According to the media, what matters is Omar Mateen’s “Muslim sounding name” and his upbringing in a “Muslim family”. Like many other Muslims worldwide, Mateen can’t escape the “Islamic” label, regardless of whether he even practiced Islam or not. That’s the baggage of a “Muslim sounding name”. ”
He attended the Islamic centre 3-4 times/week, and brought his kid with him – strange thing for someone who is not particularly devout, I’d say. Oh, and there are also reports that he was expelled from school for celebrating the 9/11 attacks, pulling a knife on someone for making a religious joke, and him calling 911 and pledging allegiance to the islamic state. Of course, those don’t make it to the cut – no, the narrative is that islam is being unfairly targeted because someone with a muslim name, who allegedly was not a muslim, did something wrong. Whether or not he acted upon orthodox islamic texts and teachings is not up for discussion, and if parts of the story need to stay on the cutting room floor, so be it.
Germans have a word for this: halbwahrheit – meaning “half truth”. It’s basically lying by omission.
While ascribing someone a motive for a thing they do because of their name may be generally unfair, this is not the case with this particular case. Mateen was described by the imam of the Islamic Centre he attended as a “religious man” and he pledged allegiance to ISIS. Leaving that out to build a narrative about “muslim names” is lying, plain and simple.
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But we know that the name is not the active ingredient in all this. It is the doctrine which mandates violence in spreading Islam that counts, whoever holds it (as Mateen did). There are currently 28,624 reasons since 9/11 for believing this, 96 this Ramadan…probably a few more by the time you read this.
As for the 2015 report quoted claiming that “Muslim Americans are responsible for the tiniest fraction of mass shootings in the US”, here it is subjected to proper scrutiny by a Professor of History:
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