NEWS: A Time to Mourn - The Orlando Devastation
After a long week of hard work, a routine weekend wind-down at the local bar or club sounds like just the thing for a perk-me-up. Such was not the case for patrons to Pulse nightclub of Orlando, Florida. In a brutal shooting on Sunday, some 49 individuals were reportedly killed with others seeking urgent medical attention.
The terror attack went ablaze over the Internet quickly becoming headline news all across the globe. However, what would normally have been mourning and sympathy to the victims and their families was met with conflicted points of views; with a significant number cheering and jeering the victims for their deserved deaths.
Reason: The shooting centred around LGBT individuals.
Identified as Mr. Omar Mateen, the shooter declared specifically his allegiance to ISIS and his Muslim roots, leading deductions of motives of hate against the LGBT community; seen in extremist religious groups of similar views over the past few years. However investigations have yet proven much beyond guesswork, most popularly indicating the man had previously planned the attack caused by hate mongering of the Islamic faith –the FBI disclaiming prior investigations of the man, inconclusive.
Is this really mere blind devotion to faith or perhaps response to hate on hate?
Photo by: Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel (http://www.orlandosentinel.com)
Halfway across the globe, hate seems to hold no distance. A little closer to home, Singaporean Bryan Lim took his support of the act to Facebook on the anti-gay page “We are against PinkDot”. In his statement, he incites intentions of taking up firearms whilst pleading for permissions to repeat the Orlando shootings.
With PinkDot Singapore taking place less than two weeks ago, anti-gay sentiments are especially high with left-to-right berating. Many on both sides taking to head-to-toe insults alongside supposed negotiations surrounding the grey areas of societal tolerance of the other. Following an updated eyewitness statement released stating Mr. Mateen as a regular at the LGBT establishment; anti-gay supporters have taken to insinuating the community as self-destructive –further fueling the fire to the engine of hate.
Much of the world stood in solidarity as they mourned similar terror attacks like the 9-11, Boston bombings and Virginia tech shooting. How is this any different? The simple addition of sexuality binaries placed behind the reasons such an act has led some to consider its “just” results.
Is it just? Such is to suggest that every LGBT individual to be classified criminal and deserving of death; much like how the Jews were viewed by the Nazi in World War II. In a similar and less violent conjecture, one would then suggest all Muslims be extremist terrorists of ISIS or how all women should be domesticated –then, reason enough for Feminism to have started its revolutions lest we now have an overwhelming male workforce. Terrifying.
Strife. Terrorism. Violence. War. All borne of hate and the unwillingness to understand the other. Perhaps it is time to relook the idea behind what is truly important. Do we truly look to condemn another for being different? In which, the only difference is whom they wish to share their private quarters with; nosy neighbours aside.
Ultimately, this terror attack was one of great loss and suffering to the victims’ families and friends. Thus in commemoration of the lives lost through this senseless act of violence, the WeAreOrlando Candlelight Vigil will be held in Singapore at Hong Lim Park tonight, 7pm. Show your support by condemning the act of violence, not of the lives lost and their gender binaries.