Professor blames Christians not ISIS for Orlando shooting
A University at Buffalo (SUNY-Buffalo) professor is claiming any attention given to Islamic State and Islamic radicalism after the Orlando shooting is “deliberate misdirection” distracting people from the much greater threat of Christians and the Republican party.
“This was an American killing Americans because they were queer and that has not been forcefully articulated,” Jonathan Katz said in a news release put out by the school. “What we are trying to do here is camouflage the root of the problem, which is a long history of violent political rhetoric and homophobic policies by Republican officials and their conservative allies.
Katz, an art history professor, also claims to be the first full-time academic to earn tenure in the field of gay and lesbian studies, which he taught at the City College of San Francisco.
The school characterizes Katz’s statements as “research news,” though Katz’s comments appear to simply be his opinion as an art professor. Katz’s opinion is that blame for Omar Mateen, a radical Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS both before and during his massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub, should rest with Christian conservatives, whom he describes as “our enemies.”
“The ISIS thing is a distraction and it allows this tragedy to be reconfigured into a political argument against terror instead of looking at the long legacy of anti-gay violence in this country that has itself been stoked and promoted by the Christian right,” Katz says. “The cause of our current violence is more likely to be found in this country than the Middle East.”
Katz also says American conservatives, whom he describes as “our enemies,” find it distasteful to mourn the mass murder of gays, and so they have pivoted to Islamic extremism as a means of making this mourning more palatable.
“The discussion of ISIS is a deliberate misdirection and an attempt by the Right to make the unpalatable defense of gay people more to their liking by rewriting it in patriotic terms,” he says. “What happened in Orlando is part of the pattern of anti-gay violence in the U.S. We cannot allow this tragedy to be used by our enemies in ways that obscure its cause. We have a homophobia problem in this country and that should be the focus.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to SUNY-Buffalo regarding Katz’s remarks, and why the school publicized them as research, but did not immediately receive a reply.
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