The largest terrorist attack in the United States since 9/11 of 2001, and the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, occurred June 12, 2016, at a gay night club in Orlando, Fla. A radical jihadist who swore allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) gunned down 49 people and injured another 53 before he was killed by police. ISIS quickly took responsibility, calling the perpetrator “an Islamic State fighter.” The attack followed calls by ISIS leaders to carry out attacks on non-Muslims during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Yet when President Barack Obama spoke in response immediately after, he would not refer to what happened as Islamic terrorism, following his established pattern, and used this as an opportunity to declare the need for more gun control.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump quickly said the president should resign if he could not identify the country’s enemy here. He also leveled criticism against his Democratic opponent in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton, for similarly refusing to make the identification—though she then said she could use such terminology but did not want to label the whole religion of Islam.
Regarding Obama not mentioning the words “radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said, “He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It’s one or the other, and either one is unacceptable” (CNN, June 13, 2016).
The attack has thrown the progressive left into a quandary. Had a “right-wing Christian” perpetrated this act, it would have been used to vilify all conservative Christians who want to deny gay rights. But as it was a Muslim, great effort is made to distance him from “authentic Islam”—lest the left’s alliance with Islam against traditional Christianity be put in jeopardy. The shooter was portrayed as a troubled, unbalanced person—but what Islamic terrorist is not? The real problem is that, while those like him are in the minority among Muslims, they still constitute a sizable number of people—perhaps millions.
This should be a wake-up call to those on the left. Radical Islamists are not their friends. In a number of Islamic countries, homosexual behavior is punishable by death and gays are routinely jailed and/or executed. Commentator Mark Steyn said: “The arithmetic isn’t that complicated. The more Islam the fewer gays … In the end, you have to pick and choose which squares you want in your diversity quilt” (SteynOnline.com, June 13).
While we obviously do not agree with the lifestyle of those who were attacked, we stand outraged and saddened over this murderous attack. And we pray for a world of peace and right understanding under the rule of the Kingdom of God. (Sources: CNN, Fox News, SteynOnline.com.)