In the aftermath of the horrific shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump claimed that the American Muslim population had kept quiet about the shooter, Omar Mateen, and covered up for him.
In his typical reactionary style, he said: “They know what’s going on. They know that he was bad. They have to cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad. But you know what? They didn’t turn them in. And you know what? We had death and destruction.”
But in reality, that isn’t so true. In fact it’s not true at all, according to War Is Boring.
Back in 2014, a man known as Mohammed Malik, who attended the same mosque as Mateen, went to the police after Mateen had confided in him and told him he was watching videos by the radical Islamic preacher, Anwar Al Awlaki, which he found ‘powerful’.
Malik told the police to keep an eye on him but, unfortunately, they were unable to prevent the horrendous events of June 12 – a terrorist attack against the LGBT community and all of the values they stand for.
However, Malik isn’t an outsider as there have been many, many Muslims before him who have gone to the authorities with tip-offs on radicals they feared could go on to commit an atrocity.
A recent study conducted by Duke University found that since 9/11 more than 54 jihadist terror suspects had been brought to the attention of authorities by members of America’s 3.3 million Muslims – which account for about 0.9 per cent of the U.S.A’s total population.
Astonishingly, members of the Muslim community actually brought forward more terror suspects and perpetrators than U.S. security did in that same amount of time.
Following the Pulse shooting, the raging war surrounding gun control has reached a mind-numbing high, while yet more questions about immigration and civil liberties have been raised.
Numerous prominent politicians, such as Trump, have questioned whether Muslims can ever truly be productive members of a Western democracy.
And while it is no lie that there are some Muslims out there with deeply conservative values, it must also be said that there are just as many, if not more, Christians with just as conservative ideals – such as Trump endorser Sarah Palin who believes that being homosexual is a choice. Oh the irony.
It was recently revealed that 42 per cent of American Muslims believe gay marriage should be legal in the United States – compared to just 39 per cent of self-identified American Protestants who believe the same thing.
So the actions of Muslims, and the teachings of Islam as a whole, can be thoroughly discounted for the acts of that one disillusioned individual, Omar Mateen, who single-handedly committed the most deadly attack in recent American history to fulfil his own depraved ideals.
Ultimately, America’s Muslims are America’s first and best line of defence against Islamic terrorists.
They need to be praised for this and for their role in society across the globe, as opposed to the constant discrimination, oppression and prejudice which is handed to them day after day after day.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.