How could it be our Nation would face yet another horrific mass shooting already? The recent events in Orlando, FL have taken more lives than we can fathom. It has caused irreplaceable loss for countless families and friends.
No doubt, it has shocked us all. If not simply left many of us in a state of fear. June 12, 2016 now marks the largest mass shooting in this history of our Nation, a monstrous act of bigotry. But is that all it was?
As facts of the shooter’s case and details of his unstable condition surface, it is clear his intentions for the attack were skewed. Still, from news sources to national leaders, just how to categorize this mass shooting seems to be taboo.
Was it a hate crime? Was it a terrorist attack inspired by ISIS? An attack planned by ISIS? Does it even matter what we call it?
While the true motivation behind this attack may never be known, how we refer to such events does have a ripple effect. For the individuals in the Pulse Club, yes, this was certainly an act of outraged hatred towards the gay community. Yet the matter of whether or not this was a terrorist attack still stands in question. Experts debate it. News sources can’t agree on it. Majority of Americans keep an arm's length from referring to such events as a terrorist attack, believing this only invokes fear in our Nation, giving ISIS the satisfaction they are after.
Most of us would rather leave ISIS out of the equation of the Orlando attack. Through videos of murders on YouTube, creating communities befitting to insistent raping of women and little girls (to ‘make them Muslim’,) while holding approximately 3,500 slaves, this jihadist militant fundamental Islamic group is certainly most ruthless in their native land. And so many assume we just leave the conversation there. We don’t like to speak about their influence across our country too much, because to avoid the conversation seems to block them from crossing our borders. Though, with the rapid pace this terrorist group is moving in, avoiding to identify their influence may not be possible much longer.
Just two days ago CNN reported on an escaped ISIS sex slave who met with Congress. Prior to her enslavement as a sexual commodity to soldiers, the young woman witnessed the murder of her mother and six brothers. In meeting with congress she pleaded with the representatives, expressing that her new found freedom is seemingly worthless knowing the group is still active. She stated if we continue to refuse to protect Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities of the Middle East, "will be wiped out."
While the formed organization of ISIS may not have had a direct hand in all attacks related to the group over the past years, these attacks continue to spread across the globe. A New York Times detailed timeline and map reveals the momentum ISIS has built just since late 2014. In less than two years, more than 1,200 people have been killed in attacks both inspired and organized by ISIS.
So what would categorize an attack to be called an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack? (This seems to be where it all gets muddled.) When an individual, brutally destroys lives out of hatred - yes, this is a hate crime. But when an individual destroys lives in the name of ISIS, and completes their mission by pledging allegiance to ISIS, this is something altogether different. They've no doubt been inspired to terrorize in the name of a cause greater than their own personal vendetta. With each inspired attack, ISIS is only encouraged and empowered to continue to fight toward's their mission to wipe out minorities.
How could such a measly pledge empower this group of approximated 25,000 soldiers? This January ISIS was forced to cut fighters salary by 50%, across every rank and even limited weapon supplies. After recent U.S. airstrikes targeted the groups oil supply, buildings in central Mosul, Iraq, millions were wiped out revenue. While ISIS’s tactics of war are as archaic as they are inhumane, it in no way disqualifies their modern strategies. If ISIS can have severe impact through streams of technology, across borders, with individuals they don’t even have to fund or supply, why wouldn’t they capitalize on this influence?
Essentially, ISIS has created a state of slavery as America once knew it. They are engaging in another genocide comparative to that of the Holocaust. But it hasn't hit us that hard yet here, so we rather assume it’s not happening at all. Through the power of social media and technology, ISIS has a window of influence like no other genocide in history. Yet we remain timid in crediting their influence. By calling the Orlando events a terrorist attack, it may credit ISIS for something they would gladly own. But by not crediting them we potentially lead ourselves into a naive state as a nation and an ally to those in the Middle East in need of aid. In many ways, by not calling it a terrorist attack, it discredits and discounts the inhumane destruction of life they continue to inspire across the globe.
Only 48 hours after the Orlando murders, last Tuesday a Paris policeman and his wife were stabbed to death by an ISIS militant. The wife was murdered in front of their 3 year old son. These events were streamed live onto Facebook. And the murderer, the jihadi, closed the video by pledging allegiance to ISIS.
We should not be frightened, but greatly alarmed and awoken to the magnitude of this genocide. We seem to acknowledge ISIS as some kind of hate group who commit minute crimes in a third-world country. We like to speak of it in terms of being distant. But this small American mindset is somewhat ignorant. And in this case, ignorance is a far cry from bliss.