Guest 1: Lauren Meister – West Hollywood Mayor – Discusses the Orlando massacre and what went down in Los Angeles as well.
Guest 2: Professor Junaid Ahmadhmad Director of the Center for Global Dialogue – Currently in Virginia, Ahmad is based in Lahore. Professor Ahmed is also a muslim and has also been secretary general of JUST International, the International Movement to Create a Just World. He is on the faculty of advanced studies at the University of Management Technology and on the faculty of law and policy at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.
“The Orlando mass shooting is a tragic atrocity that is, at the very least, partially attributable to the multiple fundamentalisms spawned by the political maneuverings of Washington and its ‘moderate’ fundamentalist allies in the Muslim world, particularly Saudi Arabia. While it is still too soon to determine the veracity of the narratives around the shooter’s motives and recent behavior, even if we accept some version of it – it is a tragic amalgamation of the systemic pathologies of our time: fundamentalist-inspired hatred of the ‘other’, in this case homosexuals, and militarized, terrorizing violence, conducted wholesale by states and retail by private, non-state actors. Whether or not mental illness contributed to this shooting, it is incontrovertible that these tragic cases have nothing to do with religion per se, but deeper contemporary processes that have fueled violence at home and abroad, with guns, bombs, and drones that have caused countless, nameless victims, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, becoming so commonplace.
“In addition, it’s important to remember that while conservative ‘orthodoxies’ in all religions, including in Islam, may be homophobic, Muslim thought, practice and behavior has become much more intolerant of homosexuality because of two principal reasons: a) imposition and importation of Western homophobia since the beginning of Western colonialism, with contemporary Muslim homophobic rhetoric reflecting less of Islamic tradition, and far more of Western Victorian and Protestant Fundamentalist vitriol, and b) Washington’s favorite ally in the Muslim world, Saudi Arabia, advancing a fundamentalist violent contempt for anyone not subscribing to their Wahhabi puritanism. Islamophobic and, indeed, homophobic politicians and pundits in the U.S. will conveniently ignore these two factors when pontificating on yet another example, for them, of ‘Islamic terrorism.'”