“I don’t think Osama bin Laden sent those planes to attack us because he hated our freedom. I think he did it because of our support for Israel, our ties with the Saudi family and our military bases in Saudi Arabia. You know why I think that? Because that’s what he fucking said!”
– David Cross, “It’s Not Funny”
We can say this, at least, for social justice warriors: they do not commit mass shootings when triggered by microaggressions. But homophobic Islamists do.
Despite what anyone, even the sainted Ron Paul, might suggest, Omar Mateen’s shooting rampage in a gay nightclub in Orlando is not another example of blowback due to American foreign policy. Mateen could have gone anywhere large numbers of people congregate to carry out his planned massacre. But he chose to kill homosexuals because he was taught to hate them (and possibly himself, if recent reports are accurate) by Islamic teachings, not because the homosexual community had supported Israel or propped up corrupt and totalitarian Middle Eastern regimes. Mateen hated those who would dare to live free, in a manner not in keeping with his own repressed value system, and took out his rage against those who expressed themselves in way protected by Western political and judicial systems.
The above quote is one of countless responses roundly mocking an excerpt from American President George W. Bush’s speech to the joint session of Congress held a week following the 9/11 attacks:
“Americans are asking ‘Why do they hate us?’
They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.”
While Cross is correct that bin Laden orchestrated the 9/11 attacks due, in part, to the repression (both real and imagined) caused by American foreign policy, Cross omits a great deal of what bin Laden “fucking said!” Allow me to fill in the blanks, straight from the horse’s mouth.
From Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to the American People”:
“The American Government and press still refuses to answer the question: Why did they attack us in New York and Washington?…What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?
The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam… of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad… It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah’s Word and religion reign Supreme…
The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you… We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling’s, and trading with interest…
You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate religion from your policies…
You are the nation that permits Usury, which has been forbidden by all the religions. Yet you build your economy and investments on Usury. As a result of this, in all its different forms and guises, the Jews have taken control of your economy, through which they have then taken control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense; precisely what Benjamin Franklin warned you against…
You are a nation that permits the production, trading and usage of intoxicants. You also permit drugs, and only forbid the trade of them, even though your nation is the largest consumer of them…
You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you consider them to be pillars of personal freedom. You have continued to sink down this abyss from level to level until incest has spread amongst you, in the face of which neither your sense of honour nor your laws object…
You are a nation that permits gambling in its all forms. The companies practice this as well, resulting in the investments becoming active and the criminals becoming rich…
You are a nation that exploits women like consumer products or advertising tools calling upon customers to purchase them. You use women to serve passengers, visitors, and strangers to increase your profit margins. You then rant that you support the liberation of women…
You are a nation that practices the trade of sex in all its forms, directly and indirectly. Giant corporations and establishments are established on this, under the name of art, entertainment, tourism and freedom, and other deceptive names you attribute to it…”
There’s a lot more that can be added to this list. Brevity, among other things, was not one of bin Laden’s virtues. While much of bin Laden’s screed for why he hates America centers around anything that can fit under the umbrella term “American imperialism,” he makes it clear that much contempt for America is rooted in a perceived permissiveness of the American culture for social behavior. America’s civil liberties, particularly those enshrined in the First Amendment, were an affront to bin Laden’s interpretation of Islam, and remain an affront to Islamic terrorists to this day. What we consider freedom, Islamists view as decadence and debauchery, and equate it with an unholiness that Allah demands be cleansed from the Earth. Indeed, he chastises America for the objectification of women, while women are treated far more dignified in the West than in the Islamic world. The illogic underlying this ideology is important to note. Unfortunately for Americans and other Western countries that do not punish its citizens for libertine behavior, there are plenty of Omar Mateens in the world who try to carry out Allah’s will.
It does not matter if Omar Mateen may have been gay himself. His horrific act was motivated by homophobia, and his homophobia had its foundation in Islamic teachings. Mateen identified himself as a supporter of and fighter for ISIS, an Islamic terrorist organization which counts among its many human rights violations homosexual genocide, acts ISIS is disgustingly prolific at.
ISIS members executing homosexuals is not some cruel pastime dreamed up by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader who may possibly have been killed by an airstrike, but a punishment prescribed by the Quran. Indeed, an Islamic imam in Orlando had this to say in 2013:
“Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this, death is the sentence…we have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion. Let’s get rid of them now.” (our emphasis)
The Washington Post reports the 10 countries where homosexuality is a capital offense. 9 of those 10 are predominantly Muslim countries, and the tenth, Nigeria, is almost evenly split between Muslims and Christians.
Here is a list of countries where homosexuality is illegal (the list is comprised of 73 countries, but would number 77 if those countries were legally recognized. They include two large provinces of Indonesia, the Cook Islands, territory controlled by ISIS, and Gaza/Palestine). Most of these are either countries that have a Muslim theocracy, predominant population of Muslims, and/or significant portions of the populace are Muslim.
For any libertarians out there worried admitting as much will negatively affect their lifetime Libertarian Purity Test score, you are allowed to agree with Bush, Obama, or Sanders if they are correct about something. If somebody says 100 things, and 99 of them turn out to be false, it doesn’t invalidate the one thing they say that is true. Even a broken clock is accurate twice a day.
The fact is our freedoms are under constant assault, either by members of our own government and their statist enablers, and by adherents to an ideology that construe it as justification for their own violent ends. Our condemnation of Islamism is not a condemnation of Muslims, just like our condemnation of the State is not a condemnation of the vast majority of our fellow human beings who practice statism religiously. The social justice left, according to its principle of intersectionality, believe that Islam is an underdog. This is a falsity. Muslims have experienced much undue discrimination, but the ideology of Islamism has rarely ever been an underdog, and indeed, has usually been the oppressor. We libertarians cherish our freedom and must guard it jealously. Protecting it requires acknowledging who is attacking it, and why, as well as giving credit where credit is due to those who acknowledge when it is under attack, and why.
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