As the country and the worldwide LGBTQ community begins to process the horrific events at Pulse nightclub late Saturday night, many will search for answers to make sense of the killer’s state of mind.
Was it religious extremism? Anti-gay hatred? Mental illness? Or just as likely, some dark and potent combination of all three that led Omar Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, FL, to charge into a crowded club and inflict death and suffering?
We’ll never know exactly what was going through his mind, but comments given to NBC News Sunday by Mateen’s father do speak to the levels of ignorance, fear and hatred Mateen had towards sexual minorities.
Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, said he thinks his son’s atrocious actions can be tied to at least one experience of seeing two men kiss in public a couple of months ago, and that it “had nothing to do with religion.”
We will, of course, take these comments with a massive grain of salt and wait to see what other stories bubble to the surface in the coming hours and days. But at the very least it’s one disturbing angle into the thought process of the killer.
Mir Seddique told NBC:
“We were in Downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry. They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, ‘Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.’ And then we were in the men’s bathroom and men were kissing each other. We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country. This had nothing to do with religion.”
We’ll keep you updated as more details become clear.