It was like any other day when I woke up on Sunday morning. I sat up in my bed, groggy and a tad bit hungry since I was fasting for Ramadan. My first instinct was to check my phone, as if I am immobile unless I am constantly updated. I checked my e-mail hoping to hear back from an online magazine I had applied to write for. No luck.
“Oh my God, my group chat is blowing up again. These people stay up all night talking about who knows what,” I thought to myself. Little did I know that America had its deadliest mass shooting a few hours before, in the city of Orlando.
I grabbed my laptop and scanned the headlines sprawled across Yahoo News. The first thought that sprung to my mind was “Please don’t tell me the shooter was Muslim.” We already get so much loathing from several people as it is. We don’t need psychopaths stirring up any more trouble for us.
Omar Mateen. Such a beautiful Arabic name, meaning long-lived, powerful, and eloquent speaker. It’s a shame the shooter didn’t know how to live up to it. If his heart was suffused with that much rage against the LGBTQ community, why not post a Facebook rant? Worst comes to worst, he may have lost a few online friends. Not literally.
This man was enraged when he saw two men kissing at Pulse night club that night. What did we assume? We assumed he was a radically religious man who wanted to put an end to something he hated, gays. But what we didn’t know was that this man wasn’t as religious as he seemed. If he was, he wouldn’t have picked up his Sig Sauer MCX that day and snatched the innocent souls out of 49 bodies ruthlessly. But what did we do wrong? Assume. We assumed his motives before we had any evidence. Just because he was a “Muslim”.
Little did we know that he was gay. All the dating apps he used prove it, but this man was too cowardly to come to terms with it. Sources say that most of the people he reached out to blocked him because he was too emotionally unstable. Maybe he was furious at the men he saw not because he was repulsed, but because he was jealous. Little did we know that he was trying to fight his inner demons and get rid of his homosexuality that he didn’t want to deal with. So he took out his gun and killed the joyous spirits of those who accepted themselves and were proud of their identities.
I am proud of who they were because they put smiles on faces, loved one another, formed a community to withstand the hate that society throws their way, and they owned up to who they were. My condolences go out to their friends, families, and loved ones who are grieving.
Omar Mateen was not a human, nor were his actions Islamic.
Watch the emotional story of Orlando shooting survivor, Patience Carter here .