After the tragic shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando left 50 people dead, America has been left to question whether the most violent mass shooting in the nation’s history was motivated by religion. As reported by the Inquisitr, a series of videos showing the Orlando shooter’s father, Seddique Mateen, praising the Taliban suggest that his son Omar may have had ties to Islamic extremism. However, the father originally told news outlets that his son was enraged by the sight of two men kissing and that religion had nothing to do with it.
Regardless of what motivated him to open fire on a night club full of gay people, Omar Mateen’s father continues to provide fuel for those who believe it was an act of Islamic terrorism. In a video posted to Facebook on Monday morning, Seddique addressed the Orlando shooting and explained that his son should not have killed all those gay people because God was already planning to punish them for their homosexuality.
According to the Huffington Post, while Seddique Mateen has expressed regret and sorrow for the nightclub massacre, the translated Facebook video features the Orlando shooter’s father speaking out against the lifestyle of his son’s victims.
“God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality.”
He goes on to say that punishing gay people is not a duty for the “servants” of God to carry out on their own.
It does appear that the words of the Orlando shooter’s father seem to contradict each other depending on where you look. In an interview with the Washington Post, Seddique claimed his son Omar Mateen was a “good son.”
“He was well behaved. His appearance was perfect,” said Mateen. “I didn’t see any sign of worrying or being upset or nervous.”
But then the Orlando shooter’s father claimed he wouldn’t miss a thing about his son, who he admitted had committed “the act of a terrorist.”
“What he did was against humanity. I apologize for what my son did. I am as sad and mad as you guys are… I didn’t know he had hatred in his heart.”
Seddique even showed interest in visiting the families of the victims and those injured by the Orlando shooting and continued to apologize for Omar’s actions.
“If they’re not ready, I still say to them, ‘I’m sorry.’ I’m saddened for their injury or if they lost their dear one,” said Mateen.
Despite all of those seemingly sincere condemnations of the Orlando shooter’s actions, the father did not hesitate to condemn the gay community as a whole the very next day.
Seddique Mateen appears to be taking a complicated theistic stance, which rejects the idea of violence against homosexual individuals while simultaneously asserting that their lifestyle is a sin in the eyes of their God. This is an idea shared by a portion of both Muslims and Christians — the belief that those who share their faith should treat gay people with kindness and respect and leave all judgment to God alone.
“[Homosexuality is] not an issue that humans should deal with,” Mateen says in the video.
However, outspoken LGBT rights activists claim this kind of belief still breeds the homophobic hatred that leads to mass shootings, even if it starts off advocating for peace.
While the father may not have predicted the mass murder or even known about his son’s anti-gay hatred, the co-workers of the Orlando shooter reportedly did. According to UPI, Omar Mateen said racist and homophobic things all the time, and even mentioned the desire to kill them.
“I quit because everything he said was toxic,” said Daniel Gilroy, a co-worker of Omar Mateen, “and the company wouldn’t do anything… he talked of killing people.”
What do you think? Was the Orlando shooter motivated by religious hate or just plain hate?
[Image via Seddique Mateen/Facebook]