The latest on the Orlando shooting

Just to keep people up to date, here’s the CNN bulletin I just got on email, quoted verbatim:

These are the latest developments confirmed by CNN:

  • At least 50 people are dead, police say, and 53 people were injured at the Pulse club in Orlando.
  • The shooter was Omar Saddiqui Mateen of Fort Pierce, Florida, law enforcement officials tell CNN. He was shot and killed by police at the nightclub.
  • Mateen called 911 at the time of the attack to pledge allegiance to ISIS, a U.S. official tells CNN, and mentioned the Boston bombers in the call. He had been investigated by the FBI in the past for possible ties to Islamic extremism, officials say, but there was no evidence to charge him with anything. ISIS sympathizers have praised the attack on jihadi forums.
  • The shooting began around 2 a.m. The gunman ran into the club and took hostages. Around 5 a.m. authorities used an armored vehicle to break down the door of the building and end the attack.
  • “It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina says. The shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of (other) device on him.”
  • Local and federal bomb squad personnel are currently entering Mateen’s Fort Pierce apartment, law enforcement officials say.
  • Mayor Buddy Dyer has declared a state of emergency for Orlando, and Florida Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for Orange County.
  • President Obama is expected to speak shortly.

I’ve updated this by including the President’s statement below; you can find other statements (e.g. by the Pope), as well as the latest updated news, at the CNN liveblog.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 1.17.30 PM

And this from The New York Times:

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 1.19.08 PM


  1. Cindy
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Regressives are falling over themselves in an attempt to blame anything but Islam.

    • Posted June 12, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Well, you can’t entirely dismiss homophobia.

      • Cindy
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Homophobia is a given since Islam explicitly teaches that gay people are to be executed to please Allah.

        But yeah they are making this about gun control, and anything but the anti-gay teachings of Islam.

        • Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

          Islam is absolutely anti-gay. No doubt about that; but so is Christianity.

          • charlize
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            Any more whataboutery in your repertoire?

            • Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

              Whataboutery? No, my dear. My point is the problem is religion in general, not a religion in particular. I condemn Islam *and* Christianity. And Jewish extremists as well. Netanyahu sent out a nice tweet and yet still there’s no gay pride in Jerusalem. Whatabout-ery that?

              • Cindy
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

                Are gay people currently being thrown off of buildings in Israel?

                How about in Canada? The USA? Britain? Northern Europe. All of those bloodthirsty Jews and Christians who follow the OT to the letter, right?

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

                So your argument is: “They’re worse murderers than the others” ? Ever heard of Shira Banki? How about corrective rape in South Africa? How about Craig Gee in Australia? Pardon me, Madam, but this was yet another attack on the LGBT community. A community that is attacked (and has been attacked) on a regular basis by various religious groups for a very long time. This year it may be Muslims, but from the time I was born to now ithe assualt on Western gays came from the Christians:

              • Cindy
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

                It isn’t governmental policy in Jewish and Western nations to kill gay people and rape women who are deemed to be whores.

                In such Islamic societies men who murder gays and rape ‘whores’ are lauded as heroes.

                Islamists openly advocate for the murder of gays and the raping of ‘whores’.

                There is a difference between saying ‘being gay is a sin’ and openly advocating for the murder of gay folk and then lauding those murderers as valiant heroes.

              • Victoria
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

                You response just confirms you are engage din whataboutery. A Muslim commits a homophobic massacre with no remotely comparable equivalent, yet you want to fume about Netanyahu.

                Shame on you. You represent the paternalistic equivalencies and anti-Israeli bigotry that are normative on the Western left.

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

                Fabulous! So you’re going to tell me what I endured as a gay person over the past 38 years? And how it was caused by Muslims?
                Sorry, Vicky. Not really the case. Muslims haven’t been a big thing in my country.

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

                I said, apologize for your patronizing “my dear,” or you’re banned.

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

                My apologies, I didn’t mean “my dear” as patronising. I use it as a normal, daily, usual form of address. Along with darling or mon/ma chere.

              • Merilee
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

                Shouldn’t you be né, instead of née?😬

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

                I love it! Indeed! Well, it’s a whole new world. That was never really a consideration (historically.) Men didn’t have pre and post names. That is in fact one of the reasons I chose to play with the concept. I used to be *just* the Pink Agendist.

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

                Mr. Pink Agendist,
                Do NOT call women “My dear,” got it? Do you not see how incredibly patronizing that is? Now apologize to charlize before you’ll post again.

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

                Sorry Prof., but as I explained I call men and women dear, darling, mon cher, ma chérie, amigo/amiga etc… It’s cultural. Generally used to open a line of communication. Conversely saying Madame or Señora/Doña creates a formal distance.

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

                Whether it’s cultural or not, women on this site have found it patronizing; so please stop it.

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

                Really? I’m perfectly willing to stop it; but might there not be a slight exaggeration going on?
                I ask because on the basis of that my comments were blocked. And yet comments justifying homophobia weren’t.

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

                Your comments were blocked for one reason only; you insulted commenters by being patronizing, using the term “my dear”. I have let them all through after you apologized. And, in fact, I am not exaggerating: the “my dear” issue has come up before here.

                I’m sorry, but if you’re perfectly willing to stop it, do so now, as I didn’t sanction any comments justifying homophobia, which I despise. Your implication that am somehow soft on homophobia is repellant.

                You need to learn how to behave here, which is civilly.

              • charlize
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

                Nice, not only whataboutery but doubling down on whataboutery. Cue Timothy McVeigh and perhaps a spot of abortion clinic bombers next. Oh, and don’t forget to trot out Anders Breivik the new go to favourite of “it’s not just Islam” whataboutery enthusiasts.

              • Cindy
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

                Gays Must Die Says Muslim scholar at Orlando Mosque

                List of Muslim terror attacks last 30 days:


                Those dang Christians, Jews, Jains, and Buddhists, openly advocating for the murder of gay people and committing terrorist attacks every chance they can get.

              • Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

                So let me be direct. Are you saying some groups can suggest I should be murdered and others can’t?
                I ask because the end-case in both those cases seems to be murder.

              • Cindy
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

                A vanishingly small number of Christians worldwide want to kill gay people. Christianity focuses primarily on redemption, they do not want to kill sinners, they want people to atone for their sins, not die for them. Islamists believe that gay people should be killed just for the crime of existing. It is intellectually dishonest to excuse Islamic crimes against gay people just because there are a few wingnut Christians out there.
                In no way am I trying to apologise for Christian bigotry, however I am going to call a spade a spade.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

                So, I think Pink would agree with your statistics. I suspect there is misunderstanding here. I think Pink is saying that while Muslim theocracies are more a problem for gays, there is still substantial bigotry in Western democracies usually promoted by religious zealots, typically Christians. I don’t think he’s trying to say it’s the same thing as Muslim theocracies; I think he’s just saying that there is still a problem in the West, especially if you read the vitroilic support of this massacre by Christians.

                I liken it to people who say women have it good in the West compared to Muslim theocracies. That is a true statement, but that doesn’t mean there is no sexism in the West and that woman are completely equal to men.

            • Craw
              Posted June 13, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

              Diana, your description of what The Pink Agendist is saying sounds very whataboutery though, doesn’t it? No-one denies there is homophobia in other societies and religions, but a concerted effort to kill, and a proud justification of killing really are not comparabel. To compare them as TPA does is whataboutery straight up.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

                No, it’s not “whataboutary” when there are Christians in the US celebrating this massacre. That’s as disturbing as Palestinians celebrating the killing of Israelis that Jerry has mentioned in his posts. It’s sickening and if I were gay, I’d feel real terror right now, not so much because of the massacre, but because of the celebratory reactions after.

              • rickflick
                Posted June 13, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

                Celebrating a massacre is like celebrating a Crucifixion.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            I see what you’re saying. There is a strong drive among evangelicals especially calling for the killing of gays etc. Yes, gay hatred isn’t systematized like it is in Islamic countries but I think that is because they (for now) don’t run the show where Islamic countries are theocracies.

            Let’s hope we (secular liberals) continue to run the show.

            • Posted June 12, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

              Thank you. That’s the point I was trying to make 🙂

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

                You’re welcome. I liken it to there still being sexism in our society even though you have a much harder time in Muslim theocracies….that doesn’t negate the sexism at home.

                Also, you once welcomed me to gay hell when I said I was going to hell with all the gays so I guess I will see you there. 😀

              • Linn
                Posted June 13, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

                I understood what you meant and agree as well. I hate when the regressive left tries to excuse islamists terrorists, but I also hate it when right wing nuts try to pretend as if homophobia and crimes against women only exist in Muslim countries.
                It’s ironic to see how many of the most blatant homophobes suddenly turn around and point fingers when muslims are involved. If this attack was done by a Christian, I think people like Trump would ignore the event, and those even further to the right than him would applaud the attack.

                I fear that many nuts will take this chance to state that gays should go back into the closet, the same way many muslims think that women should cover themselves to prevent assault.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

                Those are good points and I like your comparison of the closets for gays to cloth sacks for women. One being a Western thing, one a Muslim thing but both oppressive.

            • somer
              Posted June 13, 2016 at 1:31 am | Permalink

              +1 though I think violent homophobia is much more of an issue in the US than rest of West. We need to defend secularism in the west

            • darrelle
              Posted June 13, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink

              Another +1.

              Thank you for stepping in. The thread above was painful to read.

        • Scott Draper
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Why don’t Allah and God do their own killing, if they’re so eager to see some people die?

          • Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            Allah/Yahweh are always trusted to take care of the rewards themselves. For some reason humans don’t trust them to take care of the punishments as well.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

            Because between them, they don’t have two balls (being the same entity, then you wouldn’t expect more than two balls).

        • jeremyp
          Posted June 13, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

          It is about gun control.

          It’s about lots of things and trying to dumb it down to one thing or another is probably a bad idea if you want to put effective counter measures in place.

    • Posted June 16, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes, pathetic!

  2. Trevor H
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Ignoramus speaks…

    • Trevor H
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Trump Just Responded To Orlando Massacre In The Most DISGUSTING Way Possible

      • somer
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Ah la Trump. Looks ugly. Is ugly. Appeals to gun nuttery that enables people to easily get and use assault weapons. Appeals to religious nuttery and bigotry (ban whole groups of people any entry at all, wholesale deportation etc.) Worst side of American/western right.

        However we have this supremacist idiocy and things rather less right wing versus a regressive left idiocy that says the greatest evil now and ever in the world is the west and the factors (including technology/science) that gave birth to the great satan of capitalism.
        For regressives the group most opposed to the West is the bestest group of all. They do NOT expect the West to adopt realistic compassionate tit for tat. (That is: Say whats fair, act fairly oneself, ignore first violation, then punish to indicate that exploitation and dominance wont be tolerated though of course with a view to whats really necessary given the others mindset and whether their grievances are real or fabricated)
        They Expect the west to always concede and to keel over and die because “we deserve” any ill toward us because no peoples or culture outside the west is capable of doing evil.
        We need to be serving it to the Regressives that they are sending the message to Islamists that the west or dilution of their religion is the problem. No. The problem is Islam needs to seriously moderate and modernise no buts and no excuses provided from regressives (whose arguments and support Islamists critically rely on) Otherwise it is so intolerant that in the modern world of weapons and instant communications it will tear itself to bits in internecine religious quarrel. It will never catch up technologically so long as it fails to do this – it will ultimately only succeed in inflicting western dark ages style misery on itself.

  3. colnago80
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a report including a claim by Representative Adam Schiff that the alleged perpetrator had previously declared allegiance to ISIL.

  4. Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Florida Rick Scott (sic).

  5. Cindy
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Dave Rubin weighs in:

    Today is Gay Pride here in West Hollywood where I live. It is possibly the biggest, most over the top, raucous gay pride parade there is in the entire world. West Hollywood itself is thought of as a ‘gay city’ with our rainbow crosswalks and endless gay bars and establishments. I’m proud to live in a city that not only stands for my rights as a human being, but actively celebrates them. After I write this I’m heading to the parade to take part in what was intended to be a giant party, but today becomes an act of defiance. I will not sit quietly as backwards thinking and oppressive ideas take root in my city, my country, or my world. I will not be cowed by insincere cries of racism and bigotry when I stand up for the very liberal values that let me live as a free man. I will not be silenced out of fear of an ideology that would have me killed. I will not give an inch, because it will never stop taking.

    • Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Very moving statement, and Rubin is of course gay. I’ve now read the whole statement, which is excellent, and it includes this:

      Imagine if there was a political party that believed in forcing women to dress head to toe, endorsed throwing gays off roofs, and killing apostates who left the party. Every sane person, both left and right in America, would be rightfully against this backwards ideology. Yet for some reason, as a religion, this set of ideas gets a pass. And not only does it get a pass, it gets handled with kid gloves, tacitly endorsed or intentionally obfuscated by Western intellectuals. Of course, irony being what it is, Radical Islam will come for these apologists right after their [sic] done with the gays, the women, and the other assorted infidels.

      • Scott Draper
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        “would be rightfully against this backwards ideology”

        Unless, of course, it were espoused by a candidate from one of our major parties.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          I very much doubt that.

          • somer
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

            +1. Some of them might attend nutty conferences sometimes but could not gain or maintain office saying or supporting such things on a national level

    • dabertini
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Fist-pumping stuff, dave rubin!!

    • Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink


    • colnago80
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Apparently law enforcement was able to foil a plot to attack the parade in West Hollywood.

      • Cindy
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Dave Rubin tweeted this from the gay pride parade:


        Hours later, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the massacre, in a statement released over an encrypted phone app used by the group, stating that the attack “was carried out by an Islamic State fighter,” according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda.

        Also saw this on twitter:

        • Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          They should try parading Riyadh, Tehran or practically any muslim city and see how far the solidarity goes.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          Is that Tommy Robinson the idiot who was running the EDL/ British Nazi Party a couple of years ago before he bottled out of it?

          • Cindy
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            Yeah I think that it is him. However, in this case, he is correct. NUS LGBT siding with anti-gay anti-woman Islamists vs Maryam Namazie was despicable.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted June 12, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

              The extreme wings of Student Politics weren’t worth listening to 30 yars ago, and still aren’t. The only difference seems to be that some of the current crop may actually think what they’re saying is true, instead of treating it as a worthwhile addition to their political CV.

          • Joshua Thom
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            Before judging Tommy I would recommend watching this. Don’t just take his word for it. Look at the evidence he brings.

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted June 13, 2016 at 2:00 am | Permalink

              Yes. There is of course a story behind why Tommy became what he became.
              Suffice to say, he did not start the the trouble.

            • somer
              Posted June 13, 2016 at 4:41 am | Permalink

              Thanks. A deeply disturbing and moving video

              Ive read about Tommy and seen that young woman’s video on Luton but this was an amazing presentation. He has been involved in ruckus in the EDL though not the BNP, and I think he can be a stirrer. According to Sunny Hundal site about 7 months ago he’s since been approaching non Muslim minority communities and encouraging anti Muslim feeling there (I should have done screen shots but didn’t). Since leaving EDL involved in Pegida which definitely has unsavoury links. However its understandable how he got there and give it to him for awareness raising if not the mode of most of the activism. He is right when he says we are scared to call a spade a spade about the nature of islam and that it really needs modernisation/ integration in the west.

              Britain took half a million Pakistanis who crossed the boarder from Kashmir in 60s 70s into Pakistan then claimed asylum for Britain. and more as migrants since and frankly most of them have been trouble and will be until they accept they are in a secular state and need to moderate their Islam. We need to make that clear and give incentives and penalties to make that happen. Pakistan was Never a secular state despite its protestations. The EU needs to be told this is a security issue – secular integration and interfering with that obstructs rights. Rights happen in context to be enjoyed. Regressives … well regressive…. maybe Ohio Uni had the idea, how about the “opportunity” to go to Pakistan, shred their passports from their evil western home country and embrace their status as non muslims there.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted June 13, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

              Yes he has long condemned himself out of his own mouth.

        • somer
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

          Tommy is the former EDL leader – grew up in Luton. He’s a radical troublemaker though I suspect he’s had to put up with being despised and patronised by the middle class from a very early age.

          He’s associated these days with Pegida and amongst several founders who recently set up Pegida in UK plus he tries to stir up antagonism against Muslims in Hindu and Sikh communities to broaden appeal. There is a Sikh wing of the EDL – I don’t think he’s white supremacist but he is virulently anti Islam and anti muslim.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      The newspapers here says that it has been a “pride week” and that its finish included a speech on Orlando from the head of the organizers. Through Google Translate:

      “On the scene in Regnbågsparken took the festival’s chairman Tasso Stafilidis to speak, but instead to hold a minute’s silence, he urged all to jointly emit as much noise as possible.

      – We wanted to draw attention to LGBT social movements and the life that is now gone spilled by allowing [sounding off] as much as possible and simply to send our thoughts, our love and warmth to the families and survivors that are left, says Stafilidis.”

      [ ]

      “Regnbågsparken” means Rainbow Park. so it seems oddly fitting.

  6. Filippo
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink


  7. gluonspring
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I wish I shared Obama’s confidence in the last statement. It seems to me that terror has already changed who we are and our values as Americans. Tribal hatred is very efficient in creating counter tribal hatred.

    • Filippo
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Is Obama “on record” regarding the specifics of his perception of how the (Whahabi) Islam of our “ally” Saudi Arabia influences how it treats human beings? Does he aver that “real” Islam would not condone chopping off hands and heads with scimitars?

      • gluonspring
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        I have no idea what you are getting at. Maybe you can spell out how what you’re saying relates to what I said.

  8. Cindy
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    • EvolvedDutchie
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      I think the coalition against ISIS should ramp up the airstrikes. This can’t go unpunished.

      • Scott Draper
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Yes, this is clearly caused by insufficient airstrikes against ISIS.

        • EvolvedDutchie
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t say that. What I mean is that the coalition – not only the US, but also US allies such as my own country – should retaliate against ISIS in the same way France retaliated after the attacks in Paris on november 13th.

          • Scott Draper
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            So far, an apparently useless method of fighting terrorism.

            • EvolvedDutchie
              Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

              I disagree, ISIS is on the defense. Fallujah is under siege, the Kurds are surrounding Mosul and the Syrian city of Manbij. That means all supply lines with Turkey will be cut off. Both the Kurds and the Syrian regime of Assad have set their sights on Raqqa.

              The Kurds, the Americans and their allies have been highly succesful in fighting terrorism. But as ISIS will be pushed back further and further, they will try to show their strength by committing atrocities in Europe and the U.S. to keep morale up. So I think it will only get worse in the months ahead. But these are signs that ISIS is losing.

              • rickflick
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

                “But these are signs that ISIS is losing.”

                Let us pray.

              • Scott Draper
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

                Doesn’t matter. ISIS is hardly the only source of terrorism. We’ve been at this for 15 years and the number of people who want to kills us has only grown larger.

              • somer
                Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

                ISIS is only one of the Islamist problems. We’ve got
                *the Saudis openly encouraging some terrorists and spreading their poisonous madrassas and salafist mosques/clerics around, including versions in the West. But we can’t actually confront them because they’ve got Mecca and Medina and the Muslim world would go nuts. The Saudis fear Iran and the Israelis are much more scared of Iran than Saudi because it is more overtly anti Jewish because this gives it kudos in a Muslim world where it is a minority
                *Iran projecting power (and its own radicalism) into the region wherever there are shias – in Iraq, and in Syria and Lebanon via Hezbollah
                *The Muslim Brotherhood with its adherents in Egypt, the Middle East and South Asia – Antil Salafis but pretty much as extreme as the Salafis and increasing their influence in the Western world. Saudi supports ISIS (indirectly at least) Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Nusra front in Syria.

      • somer
        Posted June 13, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        I see the battle as ideological more than anything. We mustn’t let them get away with pretending non muslims and heretics are to blame for the evil of the world. They have to come to realise that the problems in the ME are overwhelmingly to do with the unreformed nature of Islam

        The whole thing in Syria is a huge mess with so many groups involved. I don’t see that everything to do with ISIS should be met with airstrikes. They often harm civilians more than ISIS and are sometimes just for political reasons.

        We might have struck at Assad before the Russians got involved but then he had the chemical weapons and once removed the russians came soon after.

  9. colnago80
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Just waiting for Glenn Greenwald to blame this on Israel.

  10. Posted June 12, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I read Obama’s statement on the attack in Orlando, and of course he doesn’t mention the word “Islam.” Perhaps the ISIS connection wasn’t so explicit when he made it. Regardless, if Islamic motivations are clearly implicated, then it’s time for Obama to stop pussyfooting around and indict the ideology that leads to one mass murder after another.

    • Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      That’s fair on an ideological level; the problem is the term Muslim is being used as an ethnic label at the moment (in Europe, anyway.)
      Consider that, for example, of France’s 6.5 million or so “Muslims”, only 33% claim to be believers. Only 20% claim to attend mosque regularly.
      How do we navigate between separating ideology from ancestry or country of origin- and manage not to alienate a whole bunch of innocent people?

      • charlize
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Well, if they’re not believers anyway then what reasons do they then have left to bother with identifying themselves as Muslims?

        No one had a big problem in Europe with immigrants from Muslim countries until recently when their failure to integrate and tendency to begin hewing closely to the core of their religion’s teachings started to reach critical mass with them starting to impose their odious bullshit on the host cultures and native populations.

        • Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          Firstly there are sociocultural reasons. Wherever people are from, when they enter a new society, they tend to stick together and to their identity. There are 5th generation Americans who still describe themselves as Irish American or Italian American.
          Secondly they don’t really get to choose. We brand them based on geographic origin:

          • somer
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

            They may but its not a rigid religious identity and they don’t have the level of anti liberal values cf rest of population around them e.g. recent survey of Muslim attitudes in Britain presented on BBC by former head of human rights commission there. its comparing apples with oranges

        • Linn
          Posted June 13, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

          They are often simply assumed to be muslims based on ethnic origins as Mr.Merveilleux mentioned below. It’s also worth considering that many consider themselves cultural muslims even though they don’t follow many aspects of the faith.

          I have a friend that would be considered among those scary Muslim immigrants. He moved from Iraq with his well educated mother and sisters. He believes in God, but states that he doesn’t think any god needs his followers to bend over five times a day. He drinks alcohol but stays away from pork. I’ve never heard him say anything negative about homosexuals.
          I remember overhearing a conversation in high school, between him and another Muslim from Iran about homosexuals. The Muslim from Iran said gay marriage was fine, but was against gay adoption, my friend had no problem with adoption either.
          You might say they aren’t true muslims, but then neither are Christians and Jews eating shellfish or wearing clothes of many types of fabric true to their religion either.

          Here in Norway, my atheistic parents have always been considered part of the Christian majority (because of the state church making everyone members automatically), even though my father always states that religion is the worst evil in the world. Even so, he will be considered a Christians by polls.
          Just like my friends will be considered muslims and assumed by the right wing nuts to agree with horrors such as this.

          • GBJames
            Posted June 13, 2016 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            Yes. Muslims who don’t take their religious background very seriously are like Christians who don’t take theirs seriously. Basically harmless to others.

      • GBJames
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        How do we navigate? Well, the first step is to stop pretending that religiously inspired violence isn’t religiously inspired. Make-believe is no way to navigate anything.

        • GBJames
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          (And… Sub)

        • Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          I suppose my question is how does that work if for the past almost 40 years Christianity has gotten a pass in that equation? The Kill the Gays Bill in Uganda was an American Evangelical Christian creation.

        • GBJames
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          Who’s giving Christianity a pass? Certainly not me. What has happened in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa is, if I may use the word, evil. But that is no reason to not hold Islam responsible for Islamism and acts like this. Like I said, make-believe is no way to navigate the universe.

      • somer
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        I think from other things I read theres a gap between claim and actuality tho they are more secular-oriented than Muslims elsewhere in the west and i think thats to do with French policies since 1911 of insisting on absolute secularisation of citizens though I’m not sure Iwould recommend same.

  11. Scott Draper
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    What’s aggravating about Presidential words is that they tend to say “Americans stand for Y”, rather than saying “Americans SHOULD stand for Y”. They make it sound as if Americans already hold the noble values mentioned, rather than encouraging us to become better people.

  12. Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

  13. Merilee
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink


  14. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    It could be a psychopath that acted out on the religious script that is spread around the world.

    His ex-wife claims he beat her, and that her parents had to take her away to save her. The police concur:

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Also this:

      “After the couple split, a friend of Mateen’s said the young man became steadily more religious. The friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mateen several years ago went on the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia known as the umrah.

      “He was quite religious,” the friend said.

      He said Mateen had hoped to become a law enforcement officer but that plan never panned out.”

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      I hardly find the shooter’s protestations of “allegiance to ISIS” to be significant. That may well have been how he thought if himself, but it sounds very much to me like a “lone wolf” attacker.
      A lone wolf enabled by the ludicrously easy access to high-power weaponry in America.
      A lone wolf who was so stupidly incautious with his public statements that he (allegedly) brought himself to the attention of the US security forces.
      A lone wolf who fuelled his psychopathy with religion.
      A lone wolf whose actions have now been appropriated by ISIS themselves. That last one is pretty unconvincing.
      I apologise to any wolves – ravenous or not – offended by the comparison.

      • somer
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        it said he was very well organised and ISIS encourage small attacks via their internet information

        • somer
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

          ISIS specifically target them and the man was very religious

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 13, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

          Common sense encourages “lone wolf” attacks. As we know from Snowden, most communications are being monitored, so … don’t communicate. Non-communication is untappable.
          As for good organisation – the world is full of heroic examples of good organisation. ‘Taxi Driver’ is a good example. The apocryphal “6Ps” another (I don’t know if that’s true in EN_US; it is in EN_GB).
          The big factor is that he could get the guns and ammunition.

          • somer
            Posted June 13, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

            As far as Im concerned it was inspired by Islamic ideology if not expressly organised terrorist attack in the conventional sense. But then ISIS don’t do terrorism in the conventional sense – they appeal to small groups and also to lone operators and unlike Al Qaeda they don’t operate overseas though cells – sophisticated internet output is their main recruiting/activator and failing that they publicly encourage individuals to do acts against anyone considered unbelievers – e.g. in Australia they have been calling on boys to kill police by any means and we’ve had a spate of lone young men rushing police with knives, or shooting them yelling the obligatory Allah Akbar and it subsequently coming to light they’d posted or said they were supporting ISIS>

            The shooter was investigated twice but they couldn’t pin anything on him. He visited Mecca. He had become religious and he had a fairly radical father. He was a bit disturbed for a while but he always had a regular job etc. He was no nutter and no psychopath (e.g. father said he was always respectful towards him and custom, and someone like Breivik ensured he got out alive, asked police to bandage his cut finger on the scene of the carnage!)

            The shooters father was a prominent Pashtun figure, very supportive of Taliban and very much poorly viewing gays. The mindset oriented the son to ISIS. Al Qaeda used to target more middle class people. That is not the case with ISIS foreign recruits – they want some to come over and some to cause havoc in the west.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

              Well, I’ll leave your potentially libellous comments on the father to yourself.
              You seem to think that psychopathy precludes care for personal safety. I don’t think that is a part of the diagnosis, or even part of the symptom set. It’s the lack of empathy and disdain for society that are important, not personal fearlessness or disdain for personal injury.
              Yes, IS have moved on from the “cell” structure that was designed in the 1940s for use by formally-organised resistance movements in Europe (and to a lesser degree, Indochina). Different circumstances, so different tools have been developed by their operators.
              As I’ve said before, just because you may hate the people you consider enemies does not mean that they are stupid or incompetent. If that does mean that you (we) have to deal with the fact that there are intelligent, dangerous people out there with the deliberate aim of destroying the fabric of “our” society. They seem to have found a series of strategies which work, for the moment. When social structures have changed, then those techniques will lose their effectiveness, and new strategies will be developed.

            • somer
              Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

              Im trying to point out though, that this is inspired by Islamist mind set and its that we are dealing with and that we need to in my view keep sending the message that
              1) in the West we expect respect for secular law and interpret multiculturalism as understanding there is a dominant culture which people need to respect regarding liberal norms
              2) we stop blaming what happens in the Islamic world and to us from it on Western behaviour. Some is due to this. But Most of it is due to the extremism of the religion. Unless there is adaptation to this you will always have terrible internecine sectarian conflict.

              I meant by the Breivik remark – his coldness – he’d killed all these people in cold blood but could only think about getting his cut dressed and in court where he was so keen to publicise his own manifesto.
              On the link I provided – the father has made videos where he appears in fatigues, praises the Taliban and calls for Pashtun tribal lands to be united.

      • Linn
        Posted June 13, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

        I also think there’s a good chance he was acting alone. The thing about Islamic organisations claiming responsibility is that they’re always claiming responsibility.
        They like to create fear, and if they can do so by sitting in the safety of their homes, taking credit for other’s crimes, they will do so.
        From what I remember, many Islamists were attempting to take the credit for the attacks by Anders Behring Breivik also.
        This guy probably supported IS and might have been a member, but that doesn’t mean there was any greater plan behind the attacks.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 13, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

          One of the best ways of losing your entire organisation is to have membership lists.
          It’s not just Islamist organisations that can be “false flagged” like this. There is only one reason that the IRA didn’t have much of a problem with people falsely claiming to be members of the IRA after trying to commit an atrocity – the IRA wanted political recognition, so false claimants would be beaten to a pulp in prison, or their families would be knee-capped, to encourage discipline.
          ISIS/L have no such political interest.

          • somer
            Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            ISIS Doesnt have a membership as such. It has a core membership organising things close to the state and then it has a general advertising campaign as it were to get trouble happening around about.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

              Exactly. The “membership in cells” organisation was invented for “unconventional armies” in various independence and resistance movements. Clearly, this is not ISIS.

              • somer
                Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

                Its inspired by ISIS and part of the movement

        • somer
          Posted June 13, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          The shooter actually rang/texted 911 and told them he was acting for ISIS during the attack. Cant remember which of the news reports it was on but saw couple of times

        • somer
          Posted June 13, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

          ISIS must have known about then rigged this call within 1/2 hour of the building being stormed by the gunman if it wasn’t the gunman who made the call.

          Omar Saddiqui Mateen, first called 911 about 2:30 a.m. local time, approximately 30 minutes after opening fire at Orlando’s Pulse, the official says

          Orlando Mass shooting: reports say gnman called 911, pledged allegiance to ISIS

          given that and the open and long term support for the taliban espoused by the father, I think the gunman was sympathetic to the cause of ISIS and wanted to further it.

          • somer
            Posted June 13, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

            Regarding the Gunman’s fathers attitude to the Taliban I exaggerated from the website which was my sole source re this

            the father has not in any way actively supported the Taliban and not over a long time.

            He’s appeared on a TV show about political affairs in Afghanistan just generally commenting

            More recently he merely espoused support for the Taliban verbally as one theme in a serious of rambling talks on sparsely viewed Utubes videos – expressing desire that current Afghan leaders be deposed and
            “Our brothers in Waziristan, our warrior brothers in [the] Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up,” he said. “Inshallah, the Durand Line issue will be solved soon.”
            His attitudes are shall we say, not liberal.

            He has also said on Facebook just after the massacre “god himself will punish those involved in homosexuality”

      • Posted June 16, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        I think you are quite right: the primary danger is not ISIS but Islam itself.

  15. rickflick
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink


  16. revelator60
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    The tragedy in Orlando reminds me of the recent attacks in Paris, and the perpetrator, Omar Saddiqui Mateen, seems to fit the religious terrorist profile described by the French sociologist Olivier Roy.

    Like the French terrorists, Mateen was born the country where he carried out the attacks and was the son of immigrants from an Islamic country. Like them, for much of his life he was not very religious, but at some point (in this case, after his divorce) he found solace in extremist religion.

    Roy observes that the children of Islamic immigrants can sometimes became far more religious than their parents. The offspring initially assimilate to the culture of the nation they were born in, but then turn to extremist religion to give them a sense of identity and/or deal with anomie. Against the pressures and ambiguity of modern life, fundamentalist religion seems to offer an uncomplicated cure-all.

    It’s difficult to know how to combat such motivations, but one can start by reducing the means used to commit harm. In this case–and the case of the non-religious shootings that plague our country–we can start by making assault rifles harder for civilians to buy. Sadly, there are many people in the U.S. who have no intention of letting that happen.

    • somer
      Posted June 13, 2016 at 1:39 am | Permalink

      Yes but why don’t 2nd 3rd 4th etc generation Hindus, Sikhs, Chinese etc living in the west do this?

    • Posted June 16, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Europe with its gun control has far higher frequency of lethal Islamist violence. Which shows that the key factor for this violence is not easy access to guns but proportion of fundamentalist Muslims. I still hope, perhaps too optimistically, that the USA and other countries will learn from Europe’s mistakes.

      • Cindy
        Posted June 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink


  17. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    BTW iF you were wondering who bigots would support (a Muslim shooting gays can go either way), people have overwhelmingly chosen to hate on the gays. This is what I mean by religious bigotry being identical among Christians and Muslims and other assorted assholes.

    • charlize
      Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes, except that in the Western societies where these bible(t)humpers drag their knuckles the tide has massively turned in favor of gayness and transness is progressing nicely too.

      As a matter of fact, pushback upon any and sunder who feel the unfortunate need to slink back or hold fast to homophobic tendencies is merciless and swift indeed. We now even have corporations and celebrities publicly telling state governments to ef-off (threaten to not do business and cancel appearances)when they try to pass discriminatory laws.

      Meanwhile in Muslim societies suppression and persecution of gays is state policy. So the core sentiment might be similar but its reach and impact is quiet different.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Yes and everything you say is true. However, that doesn’t mean that gay people don’t face discrimination and bigotry in our own societies and that in many cases that bigotry is justified through Christianity. It’s the same as when people say that women should count their blessings because women in Muslim theocracies have it so much worse. It’s true it’s worse to be a woman in Iran than a woman in the US but that doesn’t mean that there is no sexism and that many women struggle.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted June 13, 2016 at 2:15 am | Permalink

          I think women and men should count their blessings for not living in theocracies.
          Many men struggle too.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted June 13, 2016 at 2:11 am | Permalink


      • Craw
        Posted June 13, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Indeed. Saying “I’ll pray for you” and throwing you off a building seem very different to me.

        • GBJames
          Posted June 13, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

          How about saying “we should execute homosexuals”?

          Yes, I understand the difference between advocating violence and committing violence. But we’re not talking about praying for people.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            +1 Didn’t see your comment before I replied. Exactly what I am saying and ideas matter and behaviour and reactions matter.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          But celebrating the massacre by praising the shooter for killing those “disgusting gays”….that’s exactly the same as Palestinians celebrating the killing of Israeli citizens.

    • somer
      Posted June 13, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Religious bigotry is bad for both. Like the Texas governor who charmingly put up the biblical quote about you sow what you reap when the orlando news came through. And there is violence from individuals in Christian religious groups against gays. However the message is usually combined with pray for gays or God still loves you type thing. They are separated from power by the secular state even where they are most powerful (the US)

      Also amongst Christian fundamentalists there is not, for example allusion to killers of gays being holy “martyrs” or sadistic exultation at maiming or killing of gays like “would love to see them all blown to pieces” or “they should be impaled” As in
      The Orlando killing in Arabic

      Now of course this is just a sample but the nature of it is rather more overtly sadistic even than homicidal Christian statements towards gays (such as the preacher at the “freedom of religion” conference some Republican presidential hopefuls attended).
      Commenters say well its surely not representative. They guy translating thinks the translations reflect majority sentiment amongst Muslims. That comprehensive poll conducted in England presented by Trevor Phillips on BBC on 15 April 2016
      What British Muslims really think

      and the various Pew Research Centre polls on Muslim attitudes around the world indicate that Muslims are overall far more conservative than Westerners, including regarding the issue of homosexuality. To my mind the attitude is a level more machismo again than the Christian fundie one

    • somer
      Posted June 13, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Really Shocking statements in your link on the Christian statements about the Orlando killings. Lots of them revelling in these deaths and some calling for gays deserving to be stoned if there were only a non secular state. Thank Goodness for secularism!

      Still feel though that there’s an additional layer of sadism in terms of revelling in the pain of death, and in explicit hellfire and in the killer being a “Martyr” not just a “hero”, and its mentioned a few times.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 13, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      What’s driving the bigots (more) crazy is that even rightwing politicos are paying respect (or at least the semblance of respect) to the LGBT community over this incident. They no doubt see it as political correctness run amuck.

  18. barn owl
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Earlier today, an NPR reporter repeatedly pronounced the name “Mateen” as “marr-TEEN,” as if it were a Spanish surname. At first I thought I’d misheard, or that the reporter had misspoken, but no, several times the name was pronounced “marr-TEEN.” This really got up my nose for some reason. I have turned off NPR for the day … perhaps for the week.

    • Posted June 12, 2016 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Don’t fret. Probably, the reporter says Warshington as well.

  19. Posted June 12, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Amidst all the noise, it should be noted that an armed cop had a shootout with the terrorist and couldn’t detain him.

    So once again, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is not a good guy with a gun. It was many good guys with guns as well as kevlar armor. Are we supposed to all don kevlar suits so that we can continue to placate the minority in this country for whom any gun laws amount to Communist totalitarianism? Kevlar body armor, it’s the price for freedom. I have no faith that the United States will ever do anything to address this issue, yet each time this happens my disgust with my own country fails to lessen.

    • somer
      Posted June 13, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink


    • Posted June 16, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Let me repeat what I wrote in another comment above: Europe has more gun control than USA, and yet more Islamist attacks. This is because the proportion of Muslims of Third World origin in Western Europe is an order of magnitude higher than in the USA. Guns per se do not commit Islamist terror; extremist Muslims do.

      • Posted June 16, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        You seem to be falling into the trap that their can only be a single key factor. This attack brought together radical Islam with our easy access to guns.

        However, my comment was directed at the issue of whether Islamists cause violence, buthe rather towards our gun policy that insists that simply arming more and more people will reduce overall violence. A true point that the NRA frequently makes is that a determined enough attacker will find weapons. That doesn’t mean we should roll out the red carpet for them and let them waltz in. There are armed cops on the scene for many of our mass shootings and they’re simply outgunned by lunatics who can buy enough arms and ammo to carry out these attacks, yet no one blinks anot eye. We wrongly focus on mass shootings here rather than the overall epidemic. Banning assault weapons wouldn’t even create a blip on the graph of overall gun deaths. We need much more comprehensive reform that involves a combination of laws, education and a shift in our cultural attitudes. Michael Shermer has a good piece on it here:

        • Posted June 16, 2016 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          That should read, “However, my comment was directed not at the issue of whether Islamists cause violence, but rather towards our gun policy…”

        • Posted June 20, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          About this, I agree. It is a delusion to think that the problem will be even partially solved if the potential victims are armed. The attacker has the incentive and catches the victims by surprise.

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