Orlando: we will not be silenced

Submitted by Matthew on 15 June, 2016 - 1:40 Author: Gemma Short

On Sunday 12 June, 49 people were murdered in an LGBT club in Orlando, Florida, in the largest mass shooting in US history.

At around 2am the attacker Omar Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub and opened fire; shortly after he took a number of people hostage, barricading them and himself in a bathroom. Police used an armoured vehicle to demolish the wall into the bathroom, before engaging in a gun battle in which Mateen was killed. 53 more people were injured in the attack. The victims ranged from 20 to 50 years old, and were apparently overwhelmingly from black and Latino communities.

This was a deliberately targeted homophobic attack. During the attack Mateen reportedly called 911. During the call he pledged allegiance to the leader of Daesh (ISIS). However it seems that Mateen did not plan this attack as part of the network of an organisation like Daesh. No communication between Daesh and Mateen has been found, but clearly the ideas and actions of Daesh had an influence on Mateen. Mateen′s father has released a statement in which he said the attack had ″nothing to do with religion″.

He also said his son had seen two men kissing a few months ago and been angered by it. In a later interview with TV broadcaster NBC he downplayed the influence he thought this had on Mateen′s motivation but said of the incident “they were kissing each other and touching each other, and he [Omar Mateen] said, ‘Look at that. In front of my son, they are doing that.’″

Manteen's homophobia does not come from nowhere. Mateen was not born homophobic. Mateen′s father has posted a video online in which he argues that his son′s actions were wrong. But he also seems to suggest that it is for God to punish gay people. Speaking in Dari he uses the word "hamjensbazi" for gay people, which Dari speakers say is used in a derogatory way.

Religious ideology is still a deep well-spring of homophobia around the world We can and should not ignore that. Not all religious people are homophobic and of course still less are predisposed to be violent towards LGBT+ people. But recognising that religion plays a significant role in oppressing people is crucial here.

Daesh is currently murdering our LGBT+ brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq. In August 2015 six people were stabbed, one fatally, in an attack by an ultra-orthodox Jewish man on a Pride march in Jerusalem. The Iranian state systematically oppresses and murders LGBT+ people — recently a gay mullah who had been secretly conducting gay weddings fled Iran in fear of his life.

The Christian far-right in the US have put forward more than 200 anti-gay laws and propositions in the last six months alone. This growing climate of homophobia in the US, particularly through the vile transphobic ″bathroom laws″ put through by the populist right, could have very easily have led to this sort of attack by a Christian fundamentalist. Indeed Florida Senator, and former runner in the Republican presidential nominee race, Marco Rubio, has repeatedly opposed gay equality, including wanting to repeal same-sex marriage and protection against discrimination for LGBT+ employees.

It has been suggested by some regular customers of Pulse that Mateen had visited the venue a lot and may have been struggling with his own sexuality. This is a possibility. We may never know. But the main issues would remain the same. Many people internalise homophobia from their surroundings and use it against themselves. Many closeted gay people can be homophobic.

Much could be said about gun control in the US — it is despicable that it is still in the state it is. People will continue to die if it stays that way. It is a sad fact that the state of politics is such that an anti-Muslim racist backlash in the US and elsewhere is also likely. We should oppose this without reducing one bit our opposition to Islamist movements who have anti-LGBT+, anti-woman, and anti-working class ideas and will act on them. The primary victims of Islamism across the world are Muslim-background LGBT+ people, women, secularists, and socialists.

We must not forget those who have been fighting for, and dying for, secularism and against religious bigotry across the world for decades. At the same time there have been attempts to downplay the homophobic motivation of this attack. Owen Jones was right to be angry at the attempt to sideline homophobia when he appeared on Sky News. It would suit right-wing politicians if they were able to portray this as a generalised attack on ″western values″ and ″western people″, and take the focus off homophobia, because they themselves perpetuate homophobia! This is a reminder that the battle is not over on LGBT+ rights. Homophobia still exists, and the perpetrators discriminate, shame, hurt and murder people around the world every day. We will not be silenced. The struggle continues.

Comments

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 18/06/2016 - 13:05

Its after a Long time that I finally see an article here I can fully agree with. And, as being gay, it makes me sick and sad to see, how most leftwing Websites -not only Stalinist ones- does extremely downplay the islamic Background of the shooter and say this massmurde has nothing to do with the Islam. they say it was only homophobic, some even say, the FBI did it by using an instable Person.
but where did this hate come from? on one Hand, homo- and bii-sexuality is very widespread in islamic countries,on the other Hand its a deadly sin with capital punishment. moreover, in islamic culture, a man who does penetrate men is not considered as gay, only the other one. (and I think there are more forms of sexualitaty than Penetration). this all does lead to confusion about idendity. the massmurderer from orlando was confused about his idendity and developed self-hate. he projected this selfhate onto openly gays and murdered them. not too dificult to understand, no?

but the worldsocialistwebsite does see the murderer as an result of the sickness of the american Society- his ISIS-links they deny.
the revolutionary Internationalist Organisation dont even mention the murderer and being of afghanish heritage. they mention homophobia of antigay-laws in Florida and say: Orlando is not the victim, orlando is the killer of gays. they dont mention that Webpages of ISIS said days before it happened, that a big slaughter will take place in Florida and that muslim preachers in Orlando called to murder gays.
but still on the forfront of pro-islamic positions is the german branch of the british SWP. they very hard denounce any critic of islam as rascist and rightwing, even Fascist, islamphobia. but Islam is not a race,and if critic of any Religion was rascist, then Marx &engels have been rascist too. Marx´sharp attack against Islam they never published.
i consider this as real tragic SELFMURDEROUS political Errors of historical dimension. it does remind me of the iranian left in 1979, who mainly supported the new Mullah-Regime. their leftwing supporters have soon been their hanged victims.
Can anybody explain me why they dont learn? they are going to vanish. they have no Support on their Websites. every Reader does attack their Position, but they remain hardcore ignorant. its depressing. cause their pro-Islam Agenda does not help to reduce the Fellowship of the uprising new rightwing movements, but does help to increase it. the wished critic of Islam the People can only see on the rightwing side, cause all the german leftwing never developed a leftwing critic about Islam. I dont know how this is in UK.

Sadly,
Guenter.

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 02/07/2016 - 18:13

sad,that no one else was interested to discuss about Orlando.
seems that there are no (or no more) gays around AWL.
in general i see much less comments than 2-3years ago.

Submitted by AWL on Sat, 02/07/2016 - 21:41

Hi Guenter,

There are more people in and around AWL than two or three years ago (including, I'd say, more LGBT people). Our website doesn't get many comments, for some reason. It's something we need to do something about.

Sacha Ismail

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 09/07/2016 - 10:15

one website of the german SWP-followers (dissolved into the "left Party" (die Linke) is in a censorship-ecstasy: every comment and every commentator who is critical about Islam, get cancelled,deleted, and banned. and we are not talking about rightwing rascists, but about leftwingers, who simply dont totally agree with them. one of those who do so, kerekes, is the leader of the party´s youthorganisation, and also works for an iranian member of the national parliament. also a question about his sallery was deleted instead of being answered. "socialism from below"? iam afraid that Youngsters who delete any other opinion, under circumstances of political power, might be able to Arrest or murder their opponents. also i get the Impression, that after loosing many members, only those survived in the IS-tendency, who can only mumble 2 words to their critics (rascist, Fascist) but are far from being able to argue with what was really said, and are lightyears apart from those leftwing intellectuals of the past, who dont seem to excist anymore.

of course this website never mentioned to their Readers, that the trotskyte Group lutte ouvriere in France and also the CP there both in parliament supported the law to ban the burka in public life- so, this, what they Label as the highpoint of rascism. when i posted the recent call of famous leftwing French intellectuals, to do more against the radical Islam, "which was published in that newspaper that once was founded by jean-paul sartre", then someone replied me, he had not found something like this by googlin´around and could not imagine that the french left does such foolish things- he thought I´d created a Story! then i posted the german Translation of their Pamphlet and said "oh i thought that a leftwinger knows that i was talking about the Magazine Liberation". no more replies- this is their style to "discuss": ban any different opinion.

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 09/07/2016 - 10:17

one website of the german SWP-followers (dissolved into the "left Party" (die Linke) is in a censorship-ecstasy: every comment and every commentator who is critical about Islam, get cancelled,deleted, and banned. and we are not talking about rightwing rascists, but about leftwingers, who simply dont totally agree with them. one of those who do so, kerekes, is the leader of the party´s youthorganisation, and also works for an iranian member of the national parliament. also a question about his sallery was deleted instead of being answered. "socialism from below"? iam afraid that Youngsters who delete any other opinion, under circumstances of political power, might be able to Arrest or murder their opponents. also i get the Impression, that after loosing many members, only those survived in the IS-tendency, who can only mumble 2 words to their critics (rascist, Fascist) but are far from being able to argue with what was really said, and are lightyears apart from those leftwing intellectuals of the past, who dont seem to excist anymore.

of course this website never mentioned to their Readers, that the trotskyte Group lutte ouvriere in France and also the CP there both in parliament supported the law to ban the burka in public life- so, this, what they Label as the highpoint of rascism. when i posted the recent call of famous leftwing French intellectuals, to do more against the radical Islam, "which was published in that newspaper that once was founded by jean-paul sartre", then someone replied me, he had not found something like this by googlin´around and could not imagine that the french left does such foolish things- he thought I´d created a Story! then i posted the german Translation of their Pamphlet and said "oh i thought that a leftwinger knows that i was talking about the Magazine Liberation". no more replies- this is their style to "discuss": ban any different opinion.

Submitted by guenter on Tue, 26/07/2016 - 18:35

Short after the Massmurder of gays in Florida/USA, there was

-the bombattack in Nice/France by IS ("Islamic State") with 84 deaths &several injured.

-8 days ago ,last Monday in Wuerzburg/Bavaria (Germany) an 17years old guy from Afghanistan injured 15 persons seriously with his Axe; 1 dead. (happened in a Train).

-last Friday in Munic/Bavaria (Germany) an 18year old iranian did shoot around, before he did shot himself. 10dead, many seriously injured.

-Last sunday afternoon in Reutlingen near Stuttgart (Germany) an 21year old syrian with an axe killed 1 woman and injured 5 more. Then, one passing by car stopped him (the car Driver did hit him ).

-Sunday evening in Ansbach/Bavaria (Munic),adressing an musicfestival, an 27y.old syrian suicide bomber did injure 15youngsters seriously with his selfmade bomb.

-This morning some men with knifes attacked an church somewhere in France. 3 death. The Radio said "We dont know yet who did it and why" .But a few hours later, the IS had claimed responsibility for it.
.
Also this morning also a church in Trambzon/Turkey was attacked by the muslims
I wonder why leftwing Websites -including this one here- didnt Report about all this.

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