If the Orlando massacre at a gay night club teaches us anything, it demonstrates the grip that political correctness has on our society.
One might call it a death grip. We now know that fears about being thought Islamophobic prevented colleagues of Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer, from reporting his jihadist sympathies even though they considered him to be a “ticking time bomb.” Likewise, a neighbor of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik decided not to report her suspicions about them to the police lest she be guilty of “racial profiling.” But for political correctness, the San Bernardino massacre might have been prevented.
Now we find that Omar Mateen, the perpetrator of the Orlando massacre, left a trail of clues in the years prior to his attack that even an Inspector Clouseau could have followed. Except that our contemporary Clouseaus are hampered by politically correct policing policies. In 2013, Mateen threatened to kill a sheriff’s deputy and his family. He stalked one of his colleagues. He told co-workers that he wanted to become a martyr, and he bragged about ties to terrorist organizations. He made two trips to Mecca. His father is a supporter of the Taliban. At the small mosque he attended in Fort Pierce, Florida, he associated with a man who later traveled to Syria and perpetrated a massive suicide truck bombing there. A few weeks before the Orlando attack, a gun shop owner reported to the FBI that Mateen had tried to purchase body armor and bulk ammunition.
The FBI did investigate Mateen in 2013 and 2014, but dropped the investigation because they believed Mateen’s story that his behavior was only a reaction to his colleagues’ “Islamophobia.” The FBI, of course, is completely hamstrung by the see-no-Islam policies that the Obama administration introduced into the nation’s security agencies following its purge of reality-based training materials in 2011-2012.
How many more Orlando-type atrocities will it take before America wakes up to the true nature of the threat? Probably a great many. That’s because just as political correctness prevents us from seeing obvious signs of jihadist intentions prior to a terrorist act, it prevents us from seeing the attack for what it was after the event.
It was only a matter of time before the PC crowd began to offer alternative explanations for Orlando in an attempt to discredit the obvious one. In fact, it was only a matter of hours.
Did you think that the Orlando massacre was a jihad attack carried out in the name of Allah and reflecting traditional Islamic animosity toward homosexuals? How naïve. According to the social and media elites, the real culprit was, variously, Christians, Republicans, and the National Rifle Association. In short, all the usual suspects.
Christians? Sure. According to ESPN’s Jemele Hill, it was the “legacy of Christian homophobia” that created the toxic environment that led to the murders. ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio tweeted: “The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months and people blaming Islam for this. No.” Even a Catholic bishop concurred. According to St. Petersburg, Florida Bishop Robert Lynch, Catholicism “targets…and also breeds contempt for gays, lesbians, and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seeds of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.” Unless this attitude changes, said the bishop, “we can expect more Orlandos.”
So there you have it. It was the Catholics’ fault. Bishop Lynch also managed to take a swipe at the Second Amendment—as did President Obama, CNN, and a host of others. According to the PC view of things, the NRA had somehow created the environment that led to the killings, as did Republicans who support the NRA and oppose gay marriage and gender-neutral bathrooms.
So will the Orlando massacre be the decisive wake-up call about the threat from Islamic ideology? It doesn’t look that way. Instead, it’s back to business as usual—that is, the business of absolving Islam and blaming everyone else in sight. If Mateen had attacked Disney World—one of the targets he had been scouting—the PC enforcers would undoubtedly have found reasons to assign blame to Christians, Republicans, and the Second Amendment.
Political correctness has acquired the status of a religious faith in Western societies. Like Islam, it’s a faith that must not be questioned. And, like Islam, it brooks no opposition. Islam’s ability to infiltrate and co-opt Western institutions owes a lot to its fellow faith on the left. Indeed, if anyone dares to question the tenets of Islam, the PC crowd can be relied upon to rush to Islam’s defense. Thus, according to President Obama, Omar Mateen was not inspired by the clear commands of Muhammad to wage jihad and to execute homosexuals, but by “propaganda and perversions of Islam that you see generated on the Internet.”
It’s not just the President who enforces the PC ban on criticism of Islam. Over in Germany, Facebook banned the page of gay magazine Gaystream after it published a series of articles critical of Islam in the wake of the massacre in Orlando. It appears that in the scale of PC crimes, Islamophobia trumps homophobia.
How many more wake-up calls will it take? Unless Western societies can break out of the thought-world prison imposed by PC, they won’t wake up in time.
William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Psychological Seduction; Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com