The Left’s blind spot on ter­ror­ism

The Week (US) - - 12 News - Noah Roth­man

Com­men­taryMagazine.com

When Omar Ma­teen mas­sa­cred dozens of gay men in a Florida night­club in 2016, said Noah Roth­man, the Left seized on the the­ory that the rad­i­cal­ized Mus­lim was a re­pressed ho­mo­sex­ual pri­mar­ily mo­ti­vated by anti-gay ha­tred. We now know this was com­pletely false. Dur­ing a trial in which his wife was ac­quit­ted last week of com­plic­ity in the attack, the ev­i­dence showed that Ma­teen had never vis­ited Pulse, may not have known it was a gay bar, and chose it an hour be­fore the shoot­ing by Googling “down­town Or­lando night­club.” He’d planned to attack the Walt Dis­ney World re­sort, but had been scared off by its sub­stan­tial se­cu­rity. The ho­mo­pho­bia the­ory arose de­spite the fact that Ma­teen pledged his al­le­giance to ISIS in a 911 call and had been in­ves­ti­gated by the FBI for his ea­ger on­line con­sump­tion of ji­hadist pro­pa­ganda. At the time, Pres­i­dent Obama joined in the ef­fort to down­play Ma­teen’s true mo­tives, say­ing that to blame “rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ism” was “a po­lit­i­cal dis­trac­tion.” Lib­er­als of­ten like to ac­cuse the Right of “epis­temic clo­sure”—a re­fusal to con­sider any ev­i­dence that con­tra­dicts their cher­ished be­liefs and bi­ases. “Ap­par­ently, the fever is catch­ing.”

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