As a person with a strong belief in the rights and freedoms of LGBT individuals, I was extremely saddened to hear of the shootings in Orlando. The fact that individuals paid the ultimate price to freely love who they want to love, and to live the way they were meant to live is deplorable. My prayers and continued political involvement will hopefully reflect the change that I feel needs to be made to guarantee that this will be the last mass shooting in the United States.
One thing I wanted to comment on is how immediately following the attack, we began blaming Islam. In reality, it is not one’s religious beliefs that cause mass casualties, its is familial belief and bias. Islam is no more anti-homosexuality than the Bible, and I would even be willing to claim that it is less bias. Homosexuality in Islam is a form of “Zina” which is generally translated as “indecency,” it falls under the same category as adultery, pre-marital sex, and some other “sexual crimes.” In general, Islam’s policy with homosexuality is closer to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and it is the individual cultural laws in predominantly Muslim countries that have manifested the anti-homosexual sentiment, not so much the religion of Islam. A Pew Research study conducted in 2014 on the general attitude of religious groups towards LGBT individuals, found that Muslims were sometimes more accepting of homosexuality and marriage for same-sex couples than some Christian sects:
I hope this will at least allows for some contemplation on the views of Islam on homosexuality. In the future, I hope that an individual who commits terrorism will be identified simply for what they are: a terrorist, and not have their religious affiliation announced. It isn’t relevant to truly understanding what drive people to commit acts of atrocity and all it does is promote negative stereotypes.