Orlando Terror Attack Motive

2016 Ramadan GraphicFollowing an attack like the one at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, news outlets attempt to figure out a motive for such a horrendous act. One of the trends that has emerged in this case is to attempt to turn the perpetrator, Omar Mateen into a victim by claiming that he was gay. The thought is Mateen “might not have been driven by his political and religious ideology at all, but by his suppressed homosexuality.”

All radical Muslims are victims of an evil political ideology disguised as a religion so in that respect Mateen was a victim. Was his motivation due to homosexuality? Perhaps, but even if as a Muslim he was gay, Islamic teachings regarding martyrdom absolve him of “the worst of sins and the most abhorrent of deed” as homosexuality was described by a Muslim religious scholar.

In Islam humans will be judged according to their deeds. Those with more good deeds go to Paradise where they will enjoy spiritual and physical pleasures forever. Those with more bad deeds are condemned to eternity in hell. Those who are slain in the cause of Allah (martyrs) go to Paradise. The hadith states, “The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: ‘All the sins of a Shahid (martyr) are forgiven except debt” (Muslim 20:4649). Even if Mateen’s motive was somehow a result of feelings of guilt about being homosexual, in Islamic teachings dying as an Islamic martyr guarantees forgiveness and Paradise for him.

FBI Director James Comey said, “We are working to understand what role anti-gay bigotry may have played in motivating this attack, but we are highly confident that this killer was radicalized and at least in some part through the internet.”

Mateen pledged his allegiance to ISIS on Facebook on the morning of the attack before buying ammunition with his wife. He made two trips to Saudi Arabia – one in 2011 and the other in 2012. “Based on his blatant extremism and ties to a convicted Orlando imam known for facilitating international jihadists traveling, the strong likelihood is that these trips were not benign,” said Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for the Clarion Project. His 911 calls during the attack also indicate his ties to terrorism.

Regardless of Mateen’s motivation, 49 innocent people died in an attack that was, by the perpetrator’s own admission, inspired by Islamic teachings.

Prayer Point:

Pray that the eyes of the leaders of western nations will be open to the danger that radical Islam brings to the West, and that the tendency to try and understand Mateen’s motivation will not dilute the urgency of the threat of radical Islam.

Orlando: It’s Not Hate – It’s Islam

2016 Ramadan GraphicOnce again our televisions are filled with news of innocent lives being taken by a terrorist as we learn of the deaths of 50 people in a gay Orlando nightclub. As news continued to break we learned the shooter, Omar Mateen called 911 pledging his support for ISIS during the attack. ISIS in turn has taken credit for the attack.

In his remarks about the incident President Obama said, “we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate…. And I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what — if any — inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups. What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred. Over the coming days, we’ll uncover why and how this happened, and we will go wherever the facts lead us.”

Perhaps the President did not yet know the identity of the shooter or the shooter’s admission regarding ISIS, however we now know that Mateen was at least inspired by ISIS. Mateen’s father, Seddique Mir Mateen, claimed, “This had nothing to do with religion.” He claimed that seeing a same-sex couple kiss in front of his family in a public setting had made his son angry. How did Mateen’s anger turn into the largest mass shooting in U.S. history?

Because Mateen admitted his support for ISIS, we need to look at what Islam teaches about homosexuality.

The Qur’an references homosexuality in several places: Sura 7:80-84, 26:165-166, 4:16. It is also found in the hadith. “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.” Abu Dawud 4462

Islamic scholar Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid, the founder of the website IslamQA.info provides answers to questions Muslims and others have. Alexa.com, a company that provides web traffic data and analytics says IslamQA is the world’s most popular website on the topic of Islam. When asked about the punishment for homosexuality, Al-Munajjid replied:

The crime of homosexuality is one of the greatest of crimes, the worst of sins and the most abhorrent of deeds, and Allah punished those who did it in a way that He did not punish other nations. It is indicative of violation of the Fitrah [human nature], total misguidance, weak intellect and lack of religious commitment, and it is a sign of doom and deprivation of the mercy of Allah. We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound. 

As far as punishment is concerned the question is not if a homosexual should be killed, it is how he should be killed, and the website presents various views of the method of execution including burning, stoning, or finding the highest point in the town and throwing them head first from it.

Homosexual activity carries the death penalty in the Muslim majority nations of Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Although the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is sin, because God extended His love and mercy to Christians even while they were still sinners, Christians believe in extending the same love and mercy to others. God’s grace does not excuse or endorse the behavior, but it enables Christians to love despite the behavior.

Prayer Points:

Pray for the families of those killed and wounded in the Orlando nightclub terror attack.

Pray that other attacks planned during this Ramadan season will be uncovered and lives will be saved.

Most Muslims are just as horrified at the attack as Christians, pray that these types of attacks will cause them to take a close look at the teachings of Islam.