Shakespeare once asked what was in a name. It was a fair question: after all, things are what they are regardless of what we decide to call them.
In the wake of the deadly Orlando Pulse attack, news agencies throughout the world began discussing the attacks. Over at Sky News in England, things got particularly heated:
Disgusted Owen Jones stormed out of Sky News after the presenter tried to distance the Orlando shooting from LGBT hate crime.
Mark Longhurst told the left-wing writer people should “delineate” between Islamist terror and homophobia after the attack which killed 50 at gay Florida nightclub Pulse.
That prompted a furious response from Mr. Jones, who is gay and said the attack was both things at once.
And he threw up his arms in denial after Mr. Longhurst told him “you cannot say this is a worse attack than what happened in Paris.”
Eventually Mr. Jones tore off his microphone and stormed off the set of the channel’s nightly newspaper review, where he was appearing with talk radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer.
The problem both commentators missed is that radical Islam is homophobic. It’s also anti-Semitic. And harbors many other evils, too.
While Jones and Longhurst were arguing over whether the two should be separate or named together, they missed that the whole of radical Islamic terror encompasses more than a simple “Death to America” narrative.
Omar Mateen’s attack should not have surprised anyone familiar with Islamic terror. By arguing over whether it’s one, the other, or both, they gloss over the myriad number of sins driven by this dark ideology. These semantic discussions are irrelevant when we must understand that one doesn’t preclude the other.
Was it homophobia or radical Islam? Radical Islam, by its very nature, is homophobic. That’s the discussion that should have taken place.