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How Islamic State Helps Donald Trump

The killing of about 50 people in a lone gunman attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday was the largest mass shooting in the United States in recent history. The sheer scale of the killings suggests planning and a purpose behind it. US President Barack Obama has described it as an “act of terror” and Islamic State has owned the killings, suggesting the gunman was their man. Whether the 29-year-old gunman Omar Mateen was assigned by Islamic State or any other group or he did it entirely on his own, the killings cannot be justified. Killing of innocent persons cannot be justified on any grounds. If Islamic State or any other radical group or Mateen thought they were glorifying Islam by their savagery they were in the wrong. These groups hold homosexuality as prohibited in Islam. Does that allow them to massacre 50 persons in a gay club? Islamic State has been taking away young women from territories under their control in Iraq and Syria and passing them on to their fighters to ‘marry’ and rape them. Is such forced mass ‘marriage’ and mass rape sanctioned by Islam? Islamic State has two sets of norms for their perceived enemies and themselves.
As for the US, Obama has promised to redouble its efforts to stop mass shootings. But can he do it? Mass shootings have become an epidemic in the country. Orlando was an act of terrorism but men, even students, with a gun have often killed innocent people in the country. The bloodshed in Orlando was not just about Islamic terrorism but also about anti-gay hate crimes, gun violence and safety in public places in America today. How did Omar Mateen get such lethal arms and ammunition in any case? He was able to hold the people inside the club hostage for over three hours and he also engaged the policemen. He was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, a handgun and a bomb-like device. Obama has been talking of gun control measures, but the conservatives have not allowed him to make any progress in that direction. How can the US prevent another Orlando?
US law, as it exists today, can prevent a person from purchasing a weapon only on one of the following three grounds: one, if the person is involved in an assault; two, if he has a mental illness that has been documented by a physician and reported to law enforcement; and three, if he is convicted of a felony. The point to note is that Omar Mateen was not a totally unknown character to the US authorities who popped up from a rat hole with a gun and pumped bullets into the bodies of scores of people. He had made “radical” statements in the past for which he had been investigated by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) – not once, but twice. But since the US Constitution protects freedom of speech the FBI could do nothing against him. And when he went to purchase weapons he could not be denied because none of the three preventive grounds applied to him. So he became a legal owner of those lethal weapons which he used on Sunday early morning in the club to carry out a massacre in the name of Islam.
Mateen and Islamic State were too blind to realize how much contempt and hatred against Muslims in general they have added to the already huge mountain of contempt and hatred against the practitioners of Islam inside and outside United States. It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that they did it more to benefit Muslim haters than Muslims. The Republican candidate for US presidency Donald Trump expressed great joy, saying the Orlando mass shooting had proven him right and justified his promise to ban entry of Muslims to the US. He said he had warned of the sort of terrorism that marked the shooting. “I said this was going to happen… Orlando is just the beginning… It is only going to get worse,” he said. Trump went on to say that the Democratic Hillary Clinton’s presidency would mean “hundreds of thousands” more Middle East migrants. “And we will have no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalizing,” he said. Now, would it be wrong to say that whichever radical Islamic group was behind the Orlando mass shooting has done something that is only going to brighten the election prospects of Donald Trump? It would be too far-fetched to suspect that Islamic State or another group acted in conspiracy with Donald Trump, but it is hard to deny that the action and timing is going to help the most pathological Muslim hater among
US politicians.

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