By Daniel Greenfield
The deadliest mass shooting in American history happened because of Islamophobia.
Islamophobia killed 49 people in Orlando. It didn’t kill 49 Muslims. Instead it allowed Omar Mateen, a Muslim terrorist, to kill 49 people in the name of his Islamic ideology and the Islamic State.
Omar, like so many other Muslim killers, could have been stopped. He talked about killing people when he worked at G4S Security, a Federal contractor that provided services to the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department. But, according to one of the co-workers he stalked, a former police officer, his employers refused to do anything about it because he was a Muslim.
The FBI conducted an investigation of Omar Mateen. They put him on a watch list and sent informants. They interviewed him and concluded that his claims of Al Qaeda ties and terrorist threats were reactions to “being marginalized because of his Muslim faith.” Omar told the agents that he said those things because “his co-workers were discriminating against him and teasing him because he was Muslim.”
And they believed him.
Poor Omar wasn’t a potential terrorist. He was just a victim of Islamophobia.
Omar got away with homophobic comments that would have gotten Americans fired because he was Muslim. He weathered an “extensive” FBI investigation because he was Muslim.
Anyone who says that there is no such thing as Muslim Privilege ought to look at Omar Mateen.
There is a direct line between Omar’s Muslim privilege and the Pulse massacre. Omar Mateen’s Muslim privilege protected him from consequences. While the media studiously paints the image of a beleaguered population of American Muslims suffering the stigma of constant suspicion, Omar’s Muslim background actually served as a shield and excused behavior that would have been unacceptable for anyone else. Omar Mateen’s Muslim privilege shielded him until he was actually murdering non-Muslims.
And Omar’s case is not unique. The Fort Hood killer, Nidal Hasan, handed out business cards announcing that he was a Jihadist. He delivered a presentation justifying suicide bombings, but no action was taken. Like Omar, the FBI was aware of Hasan. It knew that he was talking to Al Qaeda bigwig Anwar Al-Awlaki, yet nothing was done. Instead of worrying about his future victims, the FBI was concerned that investigating him and interviewing him would “harm Hasan’s career”.
One of his classmates later said that the military authorities, “Don’t want to say anything because it would be considered questioning somebody’s religious belief, or they’re afraid of an equal opportunity lawsuit.”
Would the FBI have been as sensitive if Nidal Hasan had been named Frank Wright? No more than Omar Mateen would have kept his security job if his name had been Joe Johnson.
It’s an increasingly familiar story.
Read the Remainder at Front Page Mag