Common Word, Common Lord

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

In my column reacting to the horrific Orlando shooting, I wrote:

It is not important that the site of the massacre, Pulse, was a “gay nightclub.”

What I meant was that all life is sacred, and that the sexual orientation of the victims was immaterial. They were fellow Americans who were gunned down and senselessly murdered. I then came across this article by Tim Teeman, senior editor and writer at the Daily Beast:

Please, no more ‘thoughts and prayers,’ unless they come with a vocal recognition of this as an attack against LGBT people in an LGBT bar.

Please, no more talk of the Pulse as a ‘nightclub’ without the word ‘gay’ or ‘LGBT’ attached to it.

Please, no more talk on this being an “attack on all of us” unless LGBT people are accorded the same rights as everyone else.

Wow. I have a little better understanding now. It is important to mention that Pulse is a gay nightclub because, as Mr. Teeman puts it:

Pulse was a club where LGBT people went to feel comfortable and have a good time; LGBT clubs exist because gay people need places to congregate because they were not welcome or comfortable elsewhere. They should be a ‘safe space,’ a retreat, breathing space, refuge, dance paradise, fun house–not somewhere to be hurt or murdered.

And to have this place savagely attacked like it was makes it even more tragic than it already is.

To me, the fact that the victims of the massacre were, and are, gay is immaterial. Like I said, they were my fellow Americans – my brothers and sisters – who were viciously murdered. I still believe that the attack on Pulse is an attack on all of us. But, Tim Teeman is absolutely right when he writes:

Let’s say it plainly: This was a mass slaying aimed at LGBT people.

Yes it was, Mr. Teeman. As a Muslim, as an American, and as a fellow human being, I am disgusted to the core because of it. Thank you, Sir, for your insight.


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