On the anniversary of the jihad massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, gay activist Scott Simpson wrote in the Advocate — a publication covering LGBT news — that the event has brought Muslims and gays together. He says they are now united as victims against the real enemy — the forces of hatred and bigotry that Donald Trump represents.
Think about the intellectual contortions it took for Simpson to get there.
A Muslim gunned down 49 people and wounded another 53 at a gay nightclub in the name of Allah and Islam. Yet a gay leader writes in a gay magazine that the massacre has united people who hold the same beliefs as the killer with people who share the orientation of his victims. And they are supposedly uniting against Donald Trump — a man who has forcefully vowed to take steps to prevent such massacres from happening again.
Scott Simpson bases his gymnastics on the myth that both Muslims and gays are routinely brutalized by thuggish Trump-supporting louts:
Across the country, American Muslims girded themselves for what has become a terrifying but familiar backlash against them. When anyone with a Muslim-sounding name makes headlines for a crime or an attack, the entire Muslim community is usually blamed. Vandals opened fire on a Texas mosque and Muslim men were beaten or shot in Orlando, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Minnesota.
Anti-Muslim violence has surged under the rhetoric of the Trump campaign, making 2016 the most brutal year for American Muslims since the backlash following 9/11.
In light of the high incidence of fake anti-Muslim hate crimes, these reports have to be greeted with skepticism — but to be sure, no attack on any innocent person, Muslim or non-Muslim, is ever justified. The question is whether this “lasting partnership” is likely to prevent Muslims in the U.S. from brutalizing gays in the future, and whether it is really prudent to act as if Orlando was a one-off.
This “lasting partnership” is unlikely to overrule the contents of Islamic holy texts. The Qur’an contains numerous condemnations of homosexual activity. For example:
And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, “Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.” … And We rained upon them a rain [of stones]. Then see how was the end of the criminals.” (Qur’an 7:80-84)
And Muhammad specifies the punishment for homosexuality in a hadith:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Lot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4462)
Of course, there have been other incidents in the United States. On January 1, 2014, during the New Year’s celebrations at Seattle gay nightclub Neighbours, a Muslim named Musab Mohamed Masmari poured gasoline on a flight of stairs and then set it alight. That the perpetrator was Muslim received only glancing notice in establishment media accounts, but the possibility that this was an attempt at enforcement of the Sharia death sentence for gays could not be ruled out. Masmari was unsuccessful: despite his attempt to maximize the carnage by setting his fire on the stairs, no one was hurt.
Five months later, on June 1, 2014, a Muslim in Seattle named Ali Muhammad Brown went on a gay dating app and made a date to meet two gay men, Dwone Anderson-Young and Ahmed Said, at a Seattle gay nightclub. When the pair arrived, Brown gunned them down. He then fled to New Jersey — and killed again.
When apprehended, Brown explained that his murders were revenge for American military actions in Muslim countries:
My mission is my mission between me and my Lord. That’s it. My mission is vengeance, for the lives, millions of lives are lost every day. All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life.
Brown was practicing Qur’anic justice:
And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. (5:45)
There have been threats of more violence. In April 2017, two converts to Islam who lived in Illinois, Joseph D. Jones and Edward Schimenti, were arrested on federal terrorism charges. They had gone to Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, Illinois with an Islamic State flag and posed for photos there while holding it, to the alarm of passersby. They turned out to have been attempting to aid, and even to join, the Islamic State. In the course of the investigation of the two men, it came to light that Schimenti had threatened a gay man with Sharia punishments. He told them of what would happen once Islamic law came to the United States:
We are putting you (homosexuals) on top of Sears Tower and we drop you.
In April 2016, Dr. Farrokh Sekaleshfar spoke at the Husseini Islamic Center in Sanford, Florida — about a half-hour drive from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Sekaleshfar had previously spoken at the University of Michigan in 2013 where he called for homosexuals to be put to death, but he emphasized that the killing must be done in a “compassionate” fashion:
[T]he sinner is Allah’s creation. You could never hate Allah’s creation.
He claimed that the death penalty for homosexuality was an act of love, because it secured the victim a place in Paradise:
We see the physical killing as something brutal, and this is the point when human hatred toward the act has to be done out of love. You have to be happy for that person … we believe in an afterlife, we believe in an eternal life … and with this sentence, you will be forgiven and you won’t be accountable in the hereafter.
It’s for his own betterment that he leaves. We have to have that compassion for people. With homosexuals, it’s the same. Out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.
This was preached not in Medina, but in Michigan.
So: a “lasting partnership”? Maybe not so much.