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Orlando attack: Appalling job of a bunch of criminals

Thousands gather at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to pay their respects for those lost in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, USA on June 13 2016
Thousands gather at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to pay their respects for those lost in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, USA on June 13 2016

The recent attack in Orlando, Florida, claimed by the criminal group Daesh is the deadliest by this group in the USA. Official reports revealed that over 100 innocent people were either killed or injured.

The question that arises here is whose benefit does this serve? It is fundamental to say that this deadly attack on civilians serves only islamophobic groups.

Far from being perpetrated by Muslims, this barbaric attack is the work of a bunch of criminals, who are probably infiltrated by foreign intelligence services. It serves the agenda of people who wish to change the mood in the run up to the presidential elections in the US, in favour of right-wing proponents who have been persistent in spreading hate speech against Muslims in the US.

Is it a coincidence that Trump can now say, ‘I told you so’ to Americans?

Is it a coincidence that this has happened straight after the world-publicized funeral of Mohammed Ali, in which strong support and even love for Muslims and Palestinians,and for those oppressed by the money hoarding 1%, were eloquently expressed by an American Jewish Rabbi and other prominent world figures?

Is it a coincidence that, like the Paris attacks seemed to punish France for recognizing the State of Palestine, the US seems to be punished now for many supporting Palestinians wholeheartedly?

Is it also a coincidence that, as the Paris attacks were timed to be just before an important decision about whether or not Europeans should bomb Syria, this attack on Orlando comes just before the presidential elections in America?

Is it also a coincidence that like the Boston bombings, the apparent perpetrator was silenced by being killed so that no one can find out who was really behind this incident?

The application of some critical thinking is needed to find the true enemies of innocent civilians in America and elsewhere.

It is unfortunate that while various world leaders have been reacting to the horrific shoot-out in Orlando, the same leaders are not moved by the deadly attacks that killed dozens of civilians and injured hundreds during the last couple of days by Russian airstrikes in Idleb (Syria).

Also while international public opinion has swiftly reacted in sympathy with the victims, very few around the world seem to be concerned with the brutal attacks on tens of thousands of civilians in Falluja (Iraq). The city has been facing total annihilation by sectarian militia backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Former Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, has recently revealed that Falluja is facing a sectarian cleansing. There have been persistentattempts to vacate it from its Sunni population in favour of the Al Hashd Al Shaabi militia.

The tragic attacks in Orlando have unsurprisingly turned into a media event. It is very unfortunate that scores of the American media outlets have yet again jumped on the band wagon of blaming Islam and Muslims worldwide for this barbaric act, in a move akin to a panicky, yet well-coordinated military propaganda or brainwashing exercise.

Many journalists are yet to understand apparently, after being told repeatedly, is that there must be distinction between Muslims and individuals reportedly bearing a Muslim name found responsible for criminal acts.

In his study entitled ‘The Perception of Islam in Western Debate’, A. Lueg, reports on the routine and unsophisticated negative framing of Islam, which most of the time appeals mainly to ignorant tabloid readers or TV viewers:‘Simplified and undifferentiated descriptions of Islam in the media fan the flames of vague fears of a supposed threat to Western culture and create a hostile image of Islam’.

The Orlando shooting has predictably fueled the flames of media hate speech in the US. The polarisation debates are being given fuel through discussion programs, rolling news reports and inflammatory commentary. The Islamic world, Muslims and their faith are being again posited as ‘the polar opposite of the West and enemy of Christianity’…

Hardly anything on the Middle East, or on historical clashes, or points of positive contact, interaction and cooperation between the East and West is learned in schools. Instead of knowledge or at least an unbiased examination of Islamic societies, we have black and white clichés and stereotypes, which apparently make it easier to deal with the phenomenon of Islam. The Western image of Islam is characterized by ideas of aggression and brutality, fanaticism, irrationality, medieval backwardness and antipathy towards women’. In whose interest is it to feed these fears and perpetuate these negative and erroneous stereotypes?

Muslims are victims of this type of barbarism, as much as the dead and injured civilians themselves. Therefore, IS or Daesh have nothing to do with Islam. They are the enemies of all the mainstream Muslims, working only to suit the agenda of the Israeli government, Evangelical Christians and those who want to make money from widespread war.

Muslims should not be blamed for this abhorrent act of terrorism, in the same way that a terrorist group or individual from an apparently Christian or Jewish origin who commits a terrorist act should be dissociated from the Christian and Jewish faith.

IS/ISIS or Daesh is nothing but a network of criminal groups who have nothing to do with the religion of Islam. which preaches peace and understanding between humans wherever they are.

The Qur’an sums up the Islamic position very concisely when it says:

‘And fight in the way of God with those who fight with you, but aggress not: Truly God does not love the aggressors.’ (Surah 2: Ayat 190).

The attacker does not represent Islam or Muslims in any way but, like any other criminal, representsonly a bunch of lawless thugs, probably funded by the enemies of the Muslims.

Dr Noureddine Miladi is a university professor of media and communication. This article was first published by The Peninsula.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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