Opinion: The LGBT community must support the war against radical Islam

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The clear cause of the massacre in Pulse nightclub was radical Islamic terrorism. Nothing else.

While murdering 50 and injuring 53 others, American-born Muslim jihadist Omar Mateen called 911 dispatchers about 20 minutes into the attack, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and referencing the Boston Marathon bombers. There is no doubt what this evil man’s motives were.

It wasn’t the killer’s first run-in with the law over terror. In 2013 and 2014, the FBI interviewed him in two separate terror-related cases.

Radical Islam has a long and storied history of violence directed at LGBT people. Islamic law considers homosexual acts to be a sin and a punishable crime. Those that are gay — or even suspected to be gay — have been jailed, stoned, emasculated, tortured and executed — some murdered with bullets, others beheaded and yet others thrown off buildings.

Instead of feeling powerless, LGBT Americans must fight back — literally and figuratively. The Pink Pistols is a gay gun-rights organization whose motto is, “Armed gays don’t get bashed.”

Long assumed to be aligned with the gun-control community, gay Americans might want to go in the opposite direction, embrace their Second Amendment rights and proudly express that they will no longer tolerate being helpless victims of religious extremism. Self-defense is a basic right to which all humans are entitled.

LGBT Americans must pressure the mainstream Muslim community to unconditionally condemn those that use violence or inflammatory rhetoric in the name of Islam. In return for them condemning homophobia, we must all ensure that peaceful Muslim Americans are safe from Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry.

Most importantly, LGBT Americans, their families and friends must support the War on Terror and support our government destroying ISIS, its followers and all those that seek to do harm to LGBT Americans in the name of religious extremism. 

John Featherman is a Republican blogger based in Chinatown.