As an Arab, the Middle East’s reaction to Orlando left me speechless…

Recently, a devastating terrorist attack took place in Orlando, where 49 innocent people were murdered. Surely, the majority of people in the Arab world condemn this atrocious act of violence? The most fatal shooting in recent American history cannot possibly be celebrated by such a large number of peace-loving people who, after all, mostly condemn the acts of terror committed in the name of Islam by groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, right? Right?


As a bilingual Arabic and English speaker from the Middle East, I took the liberty of browsing through Arabic news pages on Facebook earlier today; namely Al Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, BBC Arabic and a number of Egyptian news outlets to gauge how the Arab world was responding to the Orlando shooting. The results were disappointing, alarming, and depressing to say the least. Each page’s comment section was inundated with posts showing sympathy towards the attacker, praising him for his actions and wishing death upon members of the international LGBT community. Comments ranged from jokes about the incident and how “the gays had it coming,” to long du’as (religious supplications), wishing death upon gays and lesbians, as well as asking God to grant the killer “the highest place in paradise.” I considered collecting screenshots of these comments to raise awareness about the amount of hatred towards the gay community in the Middle East, but it soon dawned on me that such a task would be impossible.

There were simply too many hateful comments, with thousands celebrating the attack, from Tunisia to Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It was only through deep digging that a single person who expressed so much as a shred of sympathy to the victims and their families, or even condemned the blatant massacre that took place could be found. If you don’t speak Arabic, visit Al Jazeera Arabic’s Facebook page and scroll down until you see a post about the Orlando attack and note what the top three “reactions” (newly added Facebook feature) are.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.


  1. Members of the left who claim such terrorism has nothing to do with Islam need to become aware of the issue at hand that is Islamism, and understand the ramifications of evading discussions on it.

    I won’t hold my breath until these members left gets sensible about the “religion of peace.”

    When you have atheists as apologists for a religion ( as some atheists are for islam–see The Young Turks on youtube ) you know you have a deep seated ideological fuck up.

  2. This reminds me of Donald Trump’s claim that thousands of muslims were celebrating the fall of the twin towers.
    Thanks for the link, Phil.

  3. “This weekend’s mass shooting elicited wide official condemnation from Arab states, but regional media coverage has been limited so far.”

    “Surely, the majority of people in the Arab world condemn this atrocious act of violence?”

    “In general, Arab official responses to the attack were quick to offer unequivocal condemnation of the violence and condolences for the victims.”

    Why do so many Muslims love to say they “condemn”? That is interesting. And it means nothing, does nothing. Huge numbers of Muslims agree with Mateen. Fact. And that means something.

  4. Official positions count for a specific something. Leaders going on record. ..irretrievably. Though go with the twittersphere if you will.

    We have to find what we can build on. The counsel of despair based on partial evidence incapacitates us and plays directly into terrorist hands.

  5. I agree, Phil, but my source is not twitter. Doesn’t Harris’s statistics account for something? He’s done his homework, hasn’t he? I haven’t heard him address this incident, but I have heard him cite statistics. According to him, a huge number of “ordinary” Muslims agree with the “extremists” about a lot of things.

  6. Dan

    I haven’t heard him address this incident, but I have heard him cite statistics.

    But what is the delta? Have we moved at all since the last set of depressing statistics? What is most important is movement in the zeitgeist. And what leaders signal.

  7. Same here in Indonesia, the vast majority’s response were praising the killer’s name. But a lot of the younger generations condemn such acts, and many prayed for the victims, even though it is very hard to get rid of their homophobic views


    A partial transcript of the calls between police negotiators and the gunman who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub has been released.

    Omar Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier and told the police “I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings” during the three-hour siege.

    Mateen allegedly made the calls while he held more than a dozen people hostage at the venue.

    The first call (see below) lasted about 50 seconds.

    Police: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.

    Mateen; In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficial [in Arabic]

    Police: What?

    Mateen: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [in Arabic]. I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.

    Police: What’s your name?

    Mateen: My name is I pledge of allegiance to [omitted].

    Police: Ok, What’s your name?

    Mateen: I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].

    Police: Alright, where are you at?

    Mateen: In Orlando.

    Police: Where in Orlando?

    [End of call].

  9. If you go to any German news outlet and check the comments beneath any article about the migrant crisis, then you’ll get the impression that Germans are 95% racist assholes that want to bring Germany back to pre-1945. It’s just not a good idea to look at internet comments to get a feeling for a representative sentiment, is what I’m trying to say.

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