Don’t judge all Muslims by the actions of a few
Although the Orlando nightclub shooting is a national tragedy, news outlets and citizens must be careful in labeling this an act of terrorism.
Undoubtedly it was an act of ignorance and bigotry, but according to the information thus far released, it was a lone, disgruntled extremist acting on his own hatred and impulses. It was not organized by a terrorist group with premeditation in a multistaged plan. Although ISIS is supposedly claiming responsibility for the act, its ownership has come after the fact. An act of terrorism ought to be defined as a plan by a known organization that targets the governmental, financial, military or patriotic interests of this country, such as the World Trade Center attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing.
Continuing to spew the party line that this was “terrorism” will lead to an increase in the already strong public opinion that anyone with a dark skin tone, a name that is unusual to pronounce or a heritage from another country is a “terrorist.” Hating an entire group of people based on the dislike of what one individual from that group says or does makes the rest of us no better than the shooter.
The LGBT community is a population that is already ostracized from the public for no good reason. On the whole, they are often active in their community, peaceful, family-centered and have no record of committing hate crimes against those who disagree with them. The patrons of the Orlando nightclub did nothing to deserve such a horrible show of hatred. By the same token, there are many devout Muslims who have the same qualities listed above. Nothing in the pillars of Islam says that it is a requirement of the faith to be hateful or violent toward outsiders. The individuals participating in these shootings are outliers, not the norm.