Over the weekend, 29-year-old US citizen Omar Mir Seddique Mateen opened fire in the crowded Pulse Orlando club, killing at least 50 people in the deadliest mass shooting in US history before being shot dead by police.
The news sent the world reeling, as it is believed to be an attack on the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community in the US.
Just a year ago, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. The decision was a historic victory for gay rights activists who have fought for years in the lower courts.
However, it didn’t put a stop to the debates about sexual orientation.
While many continue to mourn the lives lost in the senseless shooting, including TV host James Corden, who wore a silver ribbon to the Tony Awards as a tribute to those who died in the incident, some netizens (both near and far) have taken to social media to condemn the victims.
What’s more shocking is that, close to home, some Malaysians too have openly voiced their approval of the Orlando club massacre, welcoming the killings and spinning conspiracy theories.
The comments can be seen on Siakap Keli’s Facebook post, which carried the Pulse Orlando news.
One of the top comments (240 likes and counting) read, “Malaysia ni pn ramai Gay.. aku taktau la apa dlm kepala otak diorg ni smpai bole minat kaum sejenis… jijik yang amat.” (Translation: There are a lot of gays in Malaysia. I don’t know which people in the right mind will be interested in this kind. Very disgusting.)
There were those who applauded the deaths, saying:
“Tahniah penembak..good job ini sume kaum lakhnat..tp syg cuma 50 mati spttnye semua skli.” (Translation: Congratulations to the shooter. Good job because their kind is damned. It’s a pity that only 50 died because by right they should all die.)
“Malaysia ni pun dah bersepah gay, paling jijik bila tgk kaum sendiri dah tak malu segan di khalayak ramai seolah2 bangga dgn pegangan songsang, jgn lah sampai nnt di timpa bala seperti Pompei.. nauzubillahminzalik!!” (Translation: Malaysia is also strewn with gays. It’s especially disgusting that they’re shameless, as though proud of their crooked sexual orientation. Don’t wait until something as catastrophic as Pompeii befalls us.)
“ni semua wayang US la utk jatuhkan Islam. Asal ade insiden tembak ke letupan ke ugutan ke tebusan ke msti suspek dia nama muslim. Omar mateen la Fernando Ahmad la Kassim Rodriguez la. Pala buto la US!” (Translation: This is all staged by the US to discriminate Islam. As long as there are incidents related to shooting or bombing or threat or hostage situation, the suspect is Muslim. Omar Mateen la Fernando Ahmad la Kassim Rodriguez la. D*ck head US!)
“Moga kat Malaysia ada jugak pengebom berani mati kat dalam kelab2 gay kat area KL mcm blueboy biar bapok2 n gayboy2 mampos secara berjemaah kat situ.” (Translation: Let’s hope that there will be suicide bombers who will do the same deed in Kuala Lumpur’s gay clubs. Let them all die in those clubs.)
That having said, some Malaysians have also stepped forward to be the voice of reason, calling for respect for the victims and slamming those who have made homophobic comments.
If you asked us, nobody deserved to die that night in Pulse Orlando. Homosexual or not, they were all human beings that were created by a greater power (no matter the religion) – and for a reason. And at a time like this, what the world needs is more compassion and understanding.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of those who perished in the tragedy.