It’s not about Islam: Omar Mateen, butcher of Orlando club, is anti-plural

ByGhulam Rasool Dehlvi

The obnoxious mass shooting atOrlando nightclub, which resulted in the deathof50 people dead and left at least 53 injured,has proven the deadliest attack in the history of modern America after the 9/11 tragedy. This wanton killing was reportedly perpetrated by Omar Mateen (29), a US citizen from Port St Lucie,whose family hailed from Afghanistan. While the authorities are still investigating whether Mateen had inclination towards the radical Islamism, the so-called Islamic State has claimed the responsibility for this mindless violence inside the club in Orlando, Florida, as the Islamic State-linked Arabic news agency Aamaq has revealed. Notably, the massacre of Orlando had similarities to the horrible atrocities recently perpetrated by Islamic Statein Paris and Brussels.

The violent religious extremism the world over, particularly of the radical Islamist hue, has turned into the gravest threat to the survival of liberal democrats of the world. While the essential Islamic values and doctrines are inherently peaceful and non-conformist, the extremist jihadists and radical Islamist fringes claim to engage in mindless violence calling it faith-inspired. But is there really such an inspiration that emanates from their religious convictions?

In the radical jihadist worldview, the modern secular countries both democratic and republic are following the governance system of “Dajjal” (the anti-Christ).

Liberal democracy, in this exclusivist view, is a forged and fraudulent substitute for the Islamic state or what is calledkhilafah in the puritanical Islamic terminology. This cognisance of the jihadist threat to the liberal democrats is essential to counter violent extremism. But regrettably, it has eluded even the well-thought-out counter-terrorism strategy of the American President Barack Obama, not to speak of his subordinates in the war on terror.

While the USA President termed the Orlando massacre as a ‘hate crime’, quite a lot of Arabic news outlets reported that Mateen had pledged allegiance to the Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). No wonder then, Mateen recalled the incident of 9/11 just prior to the shooting and identified himself to be the 911 operator and also mentioned the Tsarnaev brothers, the chief culprits of the Boston Marathon bombings which took place in 2013.

At a time,when the USA Muslim citizens are facing the growing menace of Islamophobia, it may gratify us that President Obama steered clear of any talk, whatsoever, of radical Islamism or extremist jihadism. He simply declared this horrific slaughter as an act of hate and act of terror of no particular disposition. Viewed this way, it is indeed welcome. But there is a disturbing aspect in it. Is the American establishment maintaining expediency in a pragmatic effort to shun growing Islamophobia or is it willfully silent over the violent jihadism playing havoc across the region?

Omar Mateen gunned down 50 people at Orlando nightclub on Sunday. AP
Omar Mateen gunned down 50 people at Orlando nightclub on Sunday. AP

Isnt it, by the way, an appeasement to its historical ally, the Saudi-Wahhabi nation state which actually founded and promulgated the theocratic notion of Gods rule over the earth? What Islamic Stateis trying to establish today is a complete replica of the Saudi-Wahhabi nation state. The virulent and violent jihadism led by the Islamic Stateideologues which is resulting into hateful acts is a complete ideology of world domination. It bears striking similarity to Wahhabism, the state religion of Saudi Arabia which once led the global jihad against the non-Muslims in general and particularly the moderate Muslims of the world who adhered to democracy and liberal Islamic values.

It’s important to note that the problem is common, albeit baffling. The issue is radical Islamism which spearheaded in Saudi Arabia, an age-old ally of America, but has turned now against themselves.

It should not be surprising then that the anti-democrat jihadist ideologues have declared not only the American and European democratic countries but also the greater Muslim world which unanimously endorsed the secular authority of the Security Council of the UNO as an ally of the anti-Christ evil. In an issue of Dabiq, Islamic States online propaganda magazine in English, an Islamic Stateideologue wrote that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Syria, Yemen among other Muslim countries are aulia-us shaitan (allies of Satan).

Furthermore, the radical religious zealots of Islamic Statealso peddle hatred against the foreign Muslims living in the western countries and contributing to their civilizations, civil services and scientific and academic progression. They equally abhor the Western and European Muslims who play the role of their citizenship by voting in their elections, or contesting their elections through a democratic or republican party or pledging their allegiance to the elected president or prime minister.

Recently, the Islamic Statereleased a hit list of the apostates among Muslims which included spiritually inclined Muslim leaders, human rights activists, civil servants, moderate Islamic scholars, spiritual leaders and imams, interfaith advocates and particularly noted Indo-American Muslims majoring in politics, media and journalism, academia and other modern and secular lawful pursuits in the western countries. It appeared in the latest issue of its jihadist mouthpiece, the online English monthly magazine entitled “Dabiq”.
The reason why Islamic Statewants to brutally kill the listed Western Muslims, as it clearly stated, is apostasy or what is called irtidad in the Islamic jurisprudence. One who turns apostate is declared murtad, the gravest sinner in Islam. However, it should be noted, Islamic Statedoes not label apostasy only on those who leave Islam for Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity or other religions, but also on those Muslims who do not subscribe to Wahhabism, the religion which Islamic Stateprofesses. The only treatment that can be meted out to an apostate, as punishment, is his/her death, as the jihadist magazine Dabiq states. It further writes: The person who calls himself a Muslim but unapologetically commits blatant kufr(disbelief or denial) is not a hypocrite (munafiq), as some mistakenly claim. Rather, he is an apostate (murtadd).”

It is not difficult to recall the recently released video in which the Islamic Statespokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani called on the jihadist fighters to get prepared, be ready and to make it a month of calamity everywhere for nonbelievers, especially for the fighters and supporters of the caliphate in Europe and America. Mateen might have driven an inspiration from the propaganda that martyrdom during the ongoing month of Ramadan was more valuable than that made at other times.

While Mateen killed 50 non-Muslims in a crazy bid to make it a month of calamity everywhere for nonbelievers, there are many brainless jihadists who are constantly on the lookout for a sacred opportunity to behead the Muslims who have now become ‘murtad’(apostates) in their view. So, the consequent Muslim-bashing is not going be any help for the Western liberal democrats.

Just as we cannot blame all Republicans or Democrats for the systematic violence that a handful of them have waged at different points in American history, similarly, we must remember not to blame all members of a particular faith tradition for what Mateen has done in Orlando. But at the same time, the entire Muslim community must feel impelled to dismantle the religious justifications of the nefarious violent extremism perpetrated by the radical hyenas inspired by an anti-pluralism and anti-democracy ideology.


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