Well readers, it’s happened again.
Another day, another senseless mass shooting resulting in scores of innocent people killed. And once more the people of this nation turn their weary eyes to each other and ask-
How? How could this happen again?
Across the internet, images are already popping up offering empty condolences, meaningless gestures, the tired, broken old echo of “thoughts and prayers.”
Accompanied by, of course, jabs at Muslims.
“Muslims” as it’s being said.
Not “that one psycho from Florida” (because where would you even start?)
Not “that one individual with serious mental instability” (like Dylan Roof, the Unabomber, the Columbine murderers, the Sandy Hook murderer, the Aurora Theater murderer, etc.)
And the internet has been swift to point out that Muslims are notoriously anti-gay.
Because it was, after all, a gay nightclub that was attacked. And it’s largely reported that the killer, an American-Muslim by the name of Omar Mateen, was “set-off” by witnessing two men kiss in public.
By an amazing coincidence, this heinous assault occurred on the exact same day that a man was arrested for plotting to attack the LA gay pride parade.
That’s right, we almost had a simultaneous attack on gays by Muslim radi-
The would-be bomber wasn’t Muslim?
OK, well, that doesn’t discount the issue. After all, wasn’t gay teen Tyler Clementi bullied by Muslims into committing suicide?
OK, so maybe not him, but what of the scores of LGBTQ folks pressured into suicide since 2000 alone? People like Jamie Hubley, Kenneth Weishuhn, Jadin Bell, or Leelah Alcorn– just to name a few. Surely it was Muslims who were behind these atrocious acts.
What’s that? The perpetrators of those tragic deaths were actually a diverse pallet of ***holes from a range of religious backgrounds (and absences thereof)?
OK, but what about Muslim groups who blame gays for natural disasters?
But no- that’s not Muslims either.
Well, what about Muslims who picket the funerals of soldiers, holding up signs reading “Allah hates fags!”
Dang it- not Muslims either.
Fine then- but it’s definitely the Muslims who have entire organizations in the US for the exclusive purposes of stopping the “gay agenda”, right?
OK, but it’s Muslims who are calling for the mass execution of homosexuals, right?
But you can’t say that Muslims don’t run a number of gay-conversion camps.
Except that you can, because once again, it’s actually a handful of Christians running those things?
But what about reaching out to countries overseas! Places like Uganda, where Muslims are working in tandem with the regime to persecute homosexuals and-
Hold on, that’s Scott Lively I’m thinking of.
What about my college, where homophobic slurs were plastered over a campus building wall?
What- Houghton College is actually a Wesleyan school?
Now is this to say that Muslim discrimination against, or violent and murderous persecution of, gays doesn’t exist?
Of course not.
I grew up in the Middle East, and I can myself attest to the severe societal pressure placed upon gays to keep themselves closeted. To claim that this persecution does not exist would be insane.
Just as insane as pretending that it doesn’t exist in America.
And that‘s what bugs me so much here (in addition to, y’know, the brutal murder of at least 50 innocent people). It’s this sense of false-shock and surprise, this sense of wounded pride. And it’s all the more repellent coming from the very people who themselves have contributed to this seething ocean of bigotry and homophobia.
But hey- I might be able to see people’s words and actions, but I certainly can’t see their hearts.
So maybe I’m wrong.
Maybe, just maybe, the hand-wringing and tears are genuine. Maybe people really do want to put an end to these senseless, hate-fueled killings.
If that’s the case, then prove it.
I challenge everyone responding to this massacre to stand up to and speak out against homophobia, regardless of where it’s coming from.
Anybody can post on twitter. Anybody can change their Facebook profile. And yes, anybody can write an obnoxious blog post.
Let’s walk the walk, people.