News Views: Spotlight

We can’t help but wonder still what led Omar Mateen to the Pulse nightclub.

Flags around North America are flying at half-mast after 49 people were killed and 53 more injured in a shooting Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

At its Monday morning workshop meeting, Maple Ridge council held a moment of silence for those killed or injured in Orlando.

Mayor Nicole  Read wondered how to move forward and fight back “against the darkness that led to the shooting?”

She added: “The only way I know is to counter the darkness with light. We need to send a message of love and tolerance.”

Council decided to fly a pride flag in front of city hall until Canada Day and install of a pride sidewalk, where the pavement markings will be painted in rainbow colours, somewhere downtown.

All are worthy considerations, especially with Pride Week coming up,  July 25 to Aug. 2.

It is proper to allow time to mourn, to show solidarity and support for a minority group that has long fought against being marginalized.

But we can’t help but wonder still what led Omar Mateen to the Pulse nightclub?

The FBI knew he was sympathetic to terrorism and had been previously investigated. During the standoff, Mateen called 911 to pledge allegiance to ISIS. He also mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers. But, according to reports, Mateen also claimed connections to other extremists groups, some of which are considered enemies and rivals of ISIS.

We also heard from the former wife of the killer, who said he had bi-polar disorder, and others who recall seeing him at the same nightclub numerous times and witnessed his belligerent outbursts.

The Islamic Society of Ridge Meadows denounced the shootings. The society “unequivocally condemns the monstrous, cowardly attack against the innocent,” said Ahmed A. Yousef, society president.

But we don’t know yet if it was solely a crime of hate, or something else. So before we pin responsibility or blame, whether that be on terrorism, gun control or mental illness, we need to shine a spotlight on that.

– The News