Our nation has been rocked by another mass shooting. By now, everyone has heard of Islamist Omar Mateen, who opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing as many as 50 people while wounding another 53. It has been dubbed the worst mass shooting our nation has ever seen. However, the reaction to this terror attack compared to another recent mass shooting couldn’t be any more different.
Not quite a year ago, America was left reeling after a mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a crazed madman opened fire and left 9 innocent church-goers dead during his massacre on June 17, 2015. After pictures emerged of killer Dylann Roof holding a Confederate flag, the added outrage was almost immediate, and all across the United States, people reacted.
The Confederate flag was torn down across our nation all because of a couple of pictures. Dylann Roof never pledged allegiance to the Confederate flag. There weren’t Confederate groups celebrating or applauding his actions. He didn’t yell a Confederate battle cry while he committed his crime. He didn’t attend a Confederate school or a Confederate church of hate. Most importantly, you couldn’t open the flag to find instructions telling him to kill. Still, the majority of the nation demanded that the flag must go, and go it did.
Fast forward to less than a year later, a crazed fundamental Islamist shot up a gay nightclub, killing homosexuals as commanded in Islam’s “holy teachings.” He pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State before taking the lives of his victims. Muslim groups celebrated and applauded his actions. He called out the all too familiar “Allahu Akbar,” the battle cry of jihad, as he took the lives of the innocent club-goers. He was enrolled in an Islamic Seminary, which happened to be run by an ex-con who recruited terrorists. He attended the same mosque with Moner Mohammad Abusalha, an American who carried out a suicide bombing in 2015 in Syria.
There are no cries to remove Islam from our civilized society like the cries that rang out against anything remotely “Confederate” a year ago. In fact, our leaders won’t even say “Islamic” when describing the attack, but Barack Obama had no problem speaking of the Confederate flag, which he claimed deserved no place in our nation besides in a museum.
If you post on social media about Islam’s influence in the Orlando attack, you will quickly find yourself scolded for “hate” by your liberal friends — likely the same ones who were adamant that the Confederate flag needed to be scrubbed from every possible place where it exists.
In Dylann Roof’s case, the Confederate flag represented a perceived ideology even though nothing supported such a claim — it was a couple of pictures and one madman’s actions. Since Mateen likes selfies, it would be like saying cell phones must go because we see them so frequently in his photos, but I digress.
Unlike the alleged influence of the Confederate flag on Dylann Roof’s actions, Omar Mateen’s ideology is not just perceived, it’s known. He lived by it, pledged his allegiance to it, studied it, and acted it out just as taught. There is proof that his Islamic ideology fueled his actions, found in the very pages of the Quran and Hadith and even modeled by his prophet, who also killed homosexuals. Mateen did as Muhammad demonstrated. He emulated his prophet just like Islam tells its followers to do.
The stark contrast in the way our nation is reacting to these two mass shootings is disturbing, frightening, and counterproductive. We must not be silenced because the truth may hurt someone’s feelings. We must continue to call out the ideology that breeds terrorism. What do all Islamic terrorists have in common? Islam.
Maybe it’s time we respond to it the way so many wanted to respond to a flag that holds no ideology, that doesn’t teach violence and jihad, and that isn’t responsible for the deaths of 270 million and counting. It needs to go. There’s no place for it in a civilized society.