The Pulse nightclub shooting that unfolded in Orlando, Florida, on June 13 has received numerous mixed opinions, despite the fact that an overwhelming number of innocent people were killed. Unfortunately, there are many people who have reacted to the senseless killings with callous comments about the victims simply because of their sexual orientation.
Now, a Turkish newspaper is at the center of controversy for a highly offensive headline about the victims. According to the Daily Mail, the Yeni Akit paper’s disturbing headline which reads, “Death toll rises to 50 in bar where perverted homosexuals go,” has turned quite a few heads. In fact, the exclamation mark at the end of the headline has led many readers and news outlets to believe the publication is actually applauding Omar Mateen for the gruesome massacre, and many of the people mourning the innocent victims aren’t very pleased.
The right-wing publication, which reportedly has ties to Turkey’s Justice and Development Party, previously ran by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has also been a known supporter of Al-Qaeda in the past, according to the Sun.
The latest report about Yeni Akit’s homophobic headline follows a media firestorm sparked by the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Like Yeni Akit, Westboro Baptist Church has justified the killings of innocent victims simply because of their sexual orientation. Since the victims were homosexuals, Westboro has justified the massacre with its infamous mantra, “God Sent the Shooter.” In fact, Westboro Baptist Church has an entire website dedicated to hatred toward homosexuals.
Although President Obama has stated that the nation is “united in grief, in outrage and resolve to defend our people,” Westboro definitely feels otherwise. In a blogpost on their anti-LGBT Christian cult-like website, they argued the shooting was not a mistake because God appointed the shooter.
In a nutshell, Westboro members believe Omar Mateen was nothing more than a person appointed to do God’s work. However, they also believe his spirit will be cast away in purgatory because he still was not a Christian. Even though he carried out the crime, he’s still a murderer in their eyes who has committed sin in the eyes of God. But, such evil was allowed to rid the world of homosexuals.
“Everyone from Barack Obama on down is taking the myopic view that this has something to do with gun control, or Islam, or homophobia, or fill in the blank. Here is reality, and make no mistake about this: God sent the shooter. He is the source. He is the fountainhead. He appointed this thing. He is sending you a message.”
Although Westboro Baptist Church members’ seemingly warped stance was expected by many Americans, their disregard for innocent lives has sparked controversy and more confusion as they’ve begun boasting about the massacre as victims’ relatives are still grieving the loss of the loved ones.
The Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, has been deemed the deadliest mass shooting since 9/11. The shooting has also sparked other debates about religion and politics. Was the shooting an act of terrorism or a mass shooting that should be categorized as a hate crime? The details are still unclear.
It has been reported that Omar Mateen, also a devout Muslim, called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS before entering Pulse, where more than 300 club patrons were partying. But, his father claims religion had nothing to do with the shooting because his son was just homophobic. However, Yeni Akit and Westboro Baptist Church believe Mateen was a martyr who simply wanted to rid the world of homosexuals. But, regardless of sexual orientation, most people only see the victims as casualties of a senseless crime.
Here are some of the reactions shared via Twitter.
Do you agree or disagree with Yeni Akit and Westboro Baptist Church? Share your thoughts.
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