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Religious Tolerance logo

Religiously-inspired violence.
2016-JUN: The Orlando, FL mass
murder at The Pulse LGBT nightclub:

Part 5
What was Mateen's motivation?
A conspiracy theory has emerged.

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This topic is continued here from Part 4.

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What was Mateen's motivation? Two main options:

A month after the massacre, his precise motivation is still unclear. There are two main belief systems:

1. It was an ISIS-inspired attack on the U.S.:

Many religious, social, and political conservatives believe that this was a terrorist attack involving a self-radicalized Muslim terrorist who hated the U.S. It was similar to the year:

  • 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, and Washington, DC, by Al-Qaeda suicide terrorists, most of whom were from Saudi Arabia. It killed 2,996 persons and injured over 6,000. Or the year:

  • 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas by Nidal Hasan, a Muslim, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist. He fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others. Or the year:

  • 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA at the Inland Regional Center, a state-run facility for individuals with developmental disabilities. The perpetrators were a self-radicalized Muslim married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. They fatally shot 14 people and injured 17.

These commentators conclude that the Orlando shooting was inspired by the Middle Eastern terrorist group ISIS, and other competing terrorist groups, to whom Mateen swore loyalty during a call to 911 from the Pulse club during the shooting. Mateen may have chosen The Pulse nightclub because it had over 300 patrons concentrated in one spot -- not necessarily because it was a LBGT club.

He was a devout Muslim, who is reported as having attended his local mosque -- the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce -- three or four times a week. 1

2. It was a homophobic attack on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender-Transsexual (LGBT) community.

Many religious, social, and political liberals believe that this was an anti-LGBT terrorist attack motivated by homophobia -- hatred of homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender persons and transsexuals. Mateen may have had a gay or bisexual sexual orientation himself. It is alleged that he was member of a number of gay dating web sites, and visited the Pulse regularly. He may have hated his sexual attraction to other men and been obsessed with his homosexual orientation. His family of origin emigrated from Afghanistan, which is one of the many predominately Muslim countries in the world for which same-gender sexual behavior is a capital crime punishable by the death penalty. His father stated that Mateen was profoundly disturbed and repulsed at recently having seen two men kissing in Florida. Mateen may have chosen The Pulse nightclub because it would be a relatively soft target with a concentration of over 300 patrons almost all of whom would be from the LGBT community.

A variation of this belief is that Mateen may have thought that he had been exposed to HIV as a result of engaging in same-gender sexual behavior with a Puerto Rican man. It was Latin Night at the Pulse nightclub at the time of the shooting. Mateen might have selected this venue for his murderous rampage because many Latinx 2 would be present.

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An attempt to resolve the nature of Mateen's motivation:

A week after the atrocity in Orlando, the author of this essay was still confused about his motivation. He made a posting to this web site's associated Facebook group, listing the two suggested options shown above. The group has about 10,700 members who hold a wide range of belief systems from Agnosticism to Zoroastrianism. The Facebook group can be reached at:

Facebook icon

Some excerpts from postings by members of the group:

  • "we will never know all of the motivations."

  • "both options [are valid]"

  • "[he] struck out at those gays whom he felt were tempting him to sin."

  • "[an] angry boy who fell through the cracks ... [who grew up] and did the unthinkable."

  • "an extreme suicide-by-cop situation. He was eliminating the enemies of his god....homosexuals, which included himself apparently."

  • "I don't try too hard to make sense of it. I don't think you can."

  • "Autophobia or self-loathing."

We can only hope that the very active current investigations by various law enforcement agencies will resolve this issue eventually.

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At least one conspiracy theory about the Orlando massacre has emerged:

A writer -- an otherwise unidentified "white, heterosexual, libertarian, 60 year old, highly aware and researched American male" -- widely distributed an essay describing his belief about the shooting. This web site received a copy. He has concluded that:

"... the so-called Orlando mass shootings at the Pulse night club, if you study the alternative media on the Internet, was a staged and faked event (as were several other recent mass gun killing events portrayed by the mainstream media and the FBI and Federal Government as real) were [sic] “false flag operations” intentionally created to increase fear in American citizens to motivate for more and more control and less and less freedom in the hands of U.S. citizens. ..."

"First off, with that many people in a club you would expect many of them to be carrying around smartphones so as to see actual pictures and videos of bloodied bodies, dead bodies, and ambulances being filled up and a lot of distress video with sound?

But you do not. People trapped in an emergency situation for a long period of time are going to think of using actions to get results besides getting to the floor as fast as possible. Minimally several dozen would be calling 911?

But what do we get instead at the crime scene? We see some videos of the street action of many police cars, local, FBI, Sheriff, a Fire Department truck (but almost zero ambulances)? You see some footage (kind of blurry) of many police officers and what appears, perhaps, of some medics milling around what appears to be maybe six bodies lying on the ground. Although somewhat blurry you can make out green grass and the emergency service people (but no blood anywhere)? No blood on any of the supposed gays who were alive and supposedly helping the police, no blood on any of the emergency response people (not even their gloved hands)? ..."

First off with that many people in a club you would expect many of them to be carrying around smartphones so as to see actual pictures and videos of bloodied bodies, dead bodies, and ambulances being filled up and a lot of distress video with sound?

But you do not. People trapped in an emergency situation for a long period of time are going to think of using actions to get results besides getting to the floor as fast as possible. Minimally several dozen would be calling 911?

But what do we get instead at the crime scene? We see some videos of the street action of many police cars, local, FBI, Sheriff, a Fire Department truck (but almost zero ambulances)? You see some footage (kind of blurry) of many police officers and what appears, perhaps, of some medics milling around what appears to be maybe six bodies lying on the ground. Although somewhat blurry you can make out green grass and the emergency service people (but no blood anywhere)? No blood on any of the supposed gays who were alive and supposedly helping the police, no blood on any of the emergency response people (not even their gloved hands)?" 3

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Webmaster's note: [bias alert]

I added the following comment to the anonymous essay as published by the DallasVoice:

"The above conspiracy theory just doesn't hold together.

If you believe this theory then you might be interested in researching the flat-earth believers who think that thousands of NASA employees know that the Earth is flat, but are all perpetrating a coordinated hoax that the Earth is roughly spherical." 3

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This topic continues in Part 6.

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Simon Carswell, "What motivated Omar Mateen to commit Orlando massacre?," Irish Times, 2016-JUN-18, at: http://www.irishtimes.com/
  2. The term "Latinx" (pronounced La-TEEN-ex") is a relatively new term that refers to people of Latin American descent. It is gender inclusive. The traditional terms Latina -- which refers to women -- and Latino -- which refers to men -- are generally used to refer to female and male heterosexual persons of Latin American descent. Latinx refers to females and males from the heterosexual and LGBT community,
  3. "Poor, mistreated straight white guy says ‘Orlando incident’ is a hoax," DallasVoice, 2016-JUN-15, at: http://www.dallasvoice.com/

Site navigation:

 Home > Religious Violence > Orlando Shooting > here

 Home > Important essays > Religious Violence> Orlando Shooting >  here

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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-JUN-20
Latest update: 2016-JUL-11
Author: B.A. Robinson

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