Orlando shooter: Islamic extremist, homophobe, wife beater?
Once again, hot-button topics are being raised in America after an Orlando shooter left 50 people dead at a gay nightclub in Florida, the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
The lone shooter was Omar Seddique Mateen, reportedly an Islamic extremist, a closeted gay who was a homophobe, and someone who physically and verbally abused his wife repeatedly.
The Orlando shooter’s possible motives
The suspect had declared allegiance to the Islamic State at some point before he was killed by the police, and a terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
However, the suspect’s father Mir Seddique said on Sunday that the mass shooting “had nothing to do with religion.”
The suspect told his father that he had become upset after seeing “two men kissing” in front of his family.
Authorities are trying to determine if the attack was indeed an act of terrorism that can be linked to any Islamic extremist group.
Unfortunately, the suspect may not have been actually affiliated with any terrorist group. He claimed sympathies with Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, and Hezbollah, which are all rivals.
The Orlando shooter’s closeted tendencies
More reports are also surfacing that the suspect was a regular at the Pulse.
A number of customers of Pulse identified the suspect as seeing him there several times drinking. He was also reported to have gotten drunk or belligerent on the premises.
Chris Callen, who performs under the name Kristina McLaughlin, said: “(The suspect has) been going to this bar for at least three years.”
Likewise, acquaintances of the suspect have told media that he used to accompany them to other gay bars and that he would sometimes ask other gay men out for dates using gay dating apps.
Mir Seddique has denied his son was gay, saying: “If he was gay, why would he do something like this?”
The Orlando shooter and domestic violence
Regardless of his motives, the suspect had a problem with anger management and had a history of domestic violence.
“”He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that,” said the suspect’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy.
It came to a point that Sitora’s parents had to rescue her from her household in Florida and fly her back home to New Jersey.
Meanwhile, the suspect’s former co-worker Daniel Gilroy said Mateen was always angry at “queers” and “dykes.”
“It was always about violence,” Gilroy said, “He had very little respect for women.”
The Orlando shooter and LGBT violence
Though other issues like political correctness and gun control have been raised by politicians and the media, this crime is primarily an issue of LGBT violence.
In the wake of the Orlando shooter’s actions, the LGBT community needs to raise its voice to be heard amidst the sea of political rhetoric so as not to be relegated to the backseat.