Like every act of violence causing death – war, civil war or terrorist related, Orlando attack killing more than 50 persons must be condemned by one and all. The attack is one of the mass shootings that recurrently happen in the United States. In the year 2016 the number of mass shootings crossed 400 mark killing more than 1200 persons. (The term “Mass Shooting” applies when there are 3 or more victims.) But the Orlando attack was special in many ways. The number of the people killed was more than any attack in recent history. The target was a gay club. And the fact which makes it really “special” is that the perpetrator was a Muslim. ISIS seems to have scored a propaganda point by claiming that Omar was its man in the States. But all the accounts appearing in the press so far seem to suggest that it was an act of frustration by a man with deranged mentality. And more than anything else, it again raises questions on America’s gun policy, which despite increasingly larger number of mass shootings and Obama’s high-pitched campaign against it, continues unaltered. When the interests of the market are at stakes, even the President of America cannot do anything.
Like everywhere in democracies, political rivals used the opportunity to advance their own agenda. Barack Obama’s short speech called the Orlando attack an “act of terror and an act of hate” and “a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people”, The Presidential nominee, Trump whose name has already started shaking the nerves of peace loving people, was quick to take to Twitter after news spread that the assailant in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was a child of Afghan immigrants and had apparently “pledged allegiance” to so-called Islamic State.Trump called for Mr Obama’s resignation for his “refusal to even say the words ‘radical Islam’”.
“If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore,” he wrote. “Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”
He went on to assert that Mrs Clinton – who supports resettling 65,000 Syrian refugees in the US – wants to “dramatically increase admissions from the Middle East” and that the US has “no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalising”.
While Trump is free to keep haranguing, what he needs to understand is why Muslims all over the world are angry with States. While he fears for the survival of America, he needs to ponder in his silent hours how America has refused to let Muslim countries survive for several decades. Before counting the American deaths caused by Muslims, he needs to count the Muslim deaths caused by America. While the number of American deaths, including 9/11, the number of soldiers killed in the Afghan-Iraq wars and the domestic terrorism do not cross ten thousand mark, more than 5 million innocent Muslims have perished in American attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands would not have died in the civil wars in Libya and Syria if America had not so assiduously intervened from behind the scene.
As far as the domestic terrorism in the United States is concerned, it is a non-Muslim monopoly with Muslims responsible only in about 5 percent of deaths. A report says: “According to this data, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Islamic (7% vs 6%). These radical Jews committed acts of terrorism in the name of their religion. These were not terrorists who happened to be Jews; rather, they were extremist Jews who committed acts of terrorism based on their religious passions, just like Al-Qaeda and company.
Of the more than 300 American deaths from political violence and mass shootings since 9/11, only 33 have come at the hands of Muslim-Americans, according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. The Muslim-American suspects or perpetrators in these or other attempted attacks fit no demographic profile—only 51 of more than 200 are of Arabic ethnicity. In 2012, all but one of the nine Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered were halted in early stages. That one, an attempted bombing of a Social Security office in Arizona, caused no casualties.
Since 9/11, [Charles Kurzman, Professor of Sociology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, writing for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and National Security] and his team tallies, 33 Americans have died as a result of terrorism launched by their Muslim neighbors. During that period, 180,000 Americans were murdered for reasons unrelated to terrorism. In just the past year, the mass shootings that have captivated America’s attention killed 66 Americans, “twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11,” notes Kurzman’s team.
“Until public opinion starts to recognize the scale of the problem has been lower than we feared, my sense is that public officials are not going to change their policies,” Kurzman says. “Counter terrorism policies have involved surveillance — not just of Muslim-Americans, but of all Americans, and the fear of terrorism has justified intrusions on American privacy and civil liberties all over the internet and other aspects of our lives. I think the implications here are not just for how we treat a religious minority in the U.S., but also how we treat the rights & liberties of everyone.”
Clinton or Trump – whoever succeeds Obama has to ensure total disengagement in Muslim lands if they have any desire to promote global peace. America needs to learn that the reactions to its violent pushes of its hegemonic policies may become more severe with the passage of time if it does not change course. They need to learn that “terrorism” forms only a tiny segment of the total violence, and almost always it has its roots in the wars by the mighty against the weak. Like any violence, terrorism cannot be condoned but we have to learn to condemn all forms of violence in proportion to their magnitude. Mere condemnation of “terrorism” and acceptance of wars and exported civil wars will only compound the violence and no one will remain entirely free of its impact.