On Saturday night, Omar Mateen was a loner and a loser. Sunday, he was immortal, by his standards, a hero. Mateen had ended his life in a blaze of gunfire and glory. Now everybody knew his name.
He had been embraced by ISIS. His face was on every TV screen. His 911 call to Orlando police identifying with the Islamic State and the Tsarnaev brothers of the Boston Marathon massacre was being heard across America. He was being called the most successful Islamist terrorist since 9/11. A hater of homosexuals, Mateen had, all alone, massacred more than four dozen patrons at a gay Florida nightclub, wounded 53, and driven deeper the wedges breaking up America. When it was learned that he used an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, America’s gun wars were reignited.
And make no mistake. There are out there in society some few looking at what Mateen did, and how he left this world, not in revulsion and disgust but admiration and awe. Omar Mateen will not lack for emulators. While we see him as a sick and crazed mass murderer, some will see him, as he surely saw himself, as a warrior for Islam and Muslim martyr who earned paradise.
Yet, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seemed either unable to recognize the roots of Mateen’s malice, or they were inhibited from identifying those roots by the commands of political correctness. The president called this “an act of hate,” but declined to name the source of the hatred or motive for the massacre.
Where did Omar Mateen learn to hate not just homosexuality but the homosexuals themselves? Where did he come to believe that they deserved to die and he had a right to kill them? Where might he have gotten such ideas? Who teaches this?
Well, not only do the Taliban and ISIS hurl homosexuals off buildings and stone them to death but 10 nations—Mauritania, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Yemen, and Pakistan—impose the death penalty for homosexual acts. Peoples of these nations approve, for such laws find sanction in the holy book, the Quran. Sharia teaches that homosexuality is a vile form of fornication, punishable by death.
Clinton declared that we must redouble our efforts to work with “our allies and partners” to go after international terror groups. Did she have in mind the Saudis and Gulf Arabs? For they have on their books laws calling for beheading the same sort of people Mateen shot to death at the Pulse club in Orlando, and for the same reason — what it is they do.
A co-worker said Mateen had an abiding rage over the behavior of American women. Where did Mateen get that idea?
After San Bernardino, where an ISIS-adoring Pakistani woman and her husband perpetrated a massacre, Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, until they could be better vetted, and we “can figure out what the hell is going on,”
This was regarded as quintessentially un-American. But “refugees” from the Syrian war have been found abetting Islamist atrocities in Paris. Terror cells containing “refugees” from Syria’s civil war have been discovered in Angela Merkel’s Germany.
We are learning that second-generation Muslims like Mateen seem susceptible to Islamist imams preaching terror against the West to advance the restoration of the caliphate. Does this not suggest a pause, and a long hard look before we continue with a policy of warmly welcoming all refugees fleeing the half-dozen wars roiling the Islamic world?
After World War II, we vetted German and East European migrants to ensure they were not fleeing Nazis or Soviet saboteurs or spies. No one seemed to regard that as outrageous.
Devout Muslims believe there is “no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.” Logically then, Muslim nations reject a “First Amendment” in their own societies that would protect a right of Christians to convert Muslims, or any “freedom of speech” that permits the mockery of Muhammad. The iconoclasts at Charlie Hebdo learned that the penalty for blasphemy against Islam or insulting the prophet can be severe.
“East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat.” So wrote Kipling. Islam, not only in its extremist forms but in its pure form, is incompatible with modern Western democracy.
And the conflict appears irreconcilable.
The policy that should result from this reality is that while we fight side-by-side to annihilate our common enemies, ISIS and al-Qaeda, the West should give up the idea of democratization and secularization of the Islamic world.
And those who believe Islam is the one true faith, to which all of mankind must eventually submit, should be told that they are welcome as visitors—but not as immigrants. For that would ensure endless conflict.
The more Islamic the West becomes, the less it remains the West.
Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority .