Pointing Fingers: MSA President Elect Blames Societal Norms, Trump for Orlando Shooting

Hands pointing in accusation , isolated on white

Hands pointing in accusation , isolated on white

Madison Dibble

In the early morning hours of June 12, tragedy struck in Orlando when Omar Mateen, a terrorist with confirmed linkage to ISIS, took 50 innocent livesat the gay-friendly Pulse Nightclub.

Let’s be clear right off the bat: ISISand the individual shooter are the people responsible for this attack. Not peaceful Muslims. Not the cultural climate of the United States. Not a presidential candidate.

With the Pulse terror attack making history as the worst mass shooting in United States history, people want answers. They want someone to be standing at the end of their pointed fingers, and when only a single coward coerced by ISIS appears to blame, some choose to paint a bigger picture.

The President-Elect of the University of Minnesota’s student government, Abeer Syedah, went to Facebook to express her vision of the bigger picture.


“One community is the target of horrific hate crime, a massacre, in a space that’s supposed to be safe for the queer community during a month that’s supposed to be about the queer community, in a society that remains violently cisnormative and heteronormative but pats itself on the back because‪#‎loveislove(or something.),” Syedah began,regarding the LGBT community.

Next, Syedah took to mention the also suffering Islamic community.

“Another community exhaustedspending this month practicing patience and gratitude, is prepared to defend their peaceful lifestyle and beliefs in justice, love, and equality, from the scapegoating and fearmongering of a largely Christian-normative and white supremacist base that pretends it’s not hateful while picking the xenophobic, bigoted, racist, misogynistic, ableist, queerphobic, Islamophobic, whiny bully of the decade as their desired nominee for President.And yes, we acknowledge that these two communities may have their tensions with each other. But you can disagree with someone’s beliefs and not victim-blame them, scapegoat them, or wish harm on them. And they don’t, believe me,” she said.


Syedah finished her post calling for Americans to ask how we got to where we are today, questioning whether Islamophobia and other discriminatory attitudes–presumably at the hands of the right, as Syedah alludes to Trump in her post (see above)–are to blame.

While the President-Elect is free to feel this way, the truth is that the only people responsible for this horrific attack are ISIS and the terrorist himself, and for some, this simple truth isn’t enough.

They choose to blame something big, something tangible. Guns. Christians. Anyone with a beliefdifferent to theirs.

The left and the entire country needs to recognize that one person and oneextremist, terrorist group, not the religion to which its members claim to belong, are at fault. Pointing fingers at one person or group, as Syedah says herself, is not the solution to this problem–whether that finger be pointed at the Muslim community as a whole, or at Republicans or Trump supporters who had nothing to do with Omar Mateen’s actions.

It feels good to place the blame on someone tangible like Donald Trump instead of a faceless terrorist organization, but it is not the solution to the ISIS problem.

Casting blame and forming divisions based on cultural norms or presidential candidates instead of fully denouncing ISIS is the last thing we need in the fight against terrorism.

The Minnesota Republic sends thoughts out to victims of this senseless tragedy, loved ones of the victims, and members of both communities affected.