LONDON, United Kingdom - Europeans came out in force yesterday to remember the gay victims of the Orlando terrorist attack, but the American flag was nowhere to be seen. A number of buildings across the continent were instead lit up with the colors of the rainbow, the symbol of the gay rights movement.
The biggest of these tributes was at the Eiffel Tower but like many other tourist attractions the stars and stripes were nowhere to be seen.
In London the newly elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, also flew the rainbow flag over City Hall. Mr Khan, who is a close friend of the convicted A|l-Qaeda terrorist Babar Ahmed, compared the attack to a homophobic bomb attack in London 17 years ago.
The Mayor told the Evening Standard: "This hideous and cowardly attack on LGBT+ people in Orlando is an attack on our freedoms and values. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Orlando.”
He continued: “London’s LGBT+ community knows what it’s like to face a murderous attack - the lives lost in the bombing of the Admiral Duncan (gay bar) here in our own city will never be forgotten.”
News outlets across the continent quoted Omar Mateen’s father who had claimed his son was motivated by homophobia rather than Islamic fundamentalism or a dislike of America. Mr Mateen snr, who was born in Afghanistan, said his son became very angry when he saw two men kissing in front of his wife and child.
Claims the ‘lone wolf’ nature of this attack proved it was not connected to Islam were refuted by the Henry Jackson Society (HJS). The think tank said the tactics employed in the Orlando attack were consistent with Islamic State terrorist operations in the West.
Tom Wilson, from HJS said: “One of the reasons why Islamic State attacks have had some success in perpetrating attacks in the West is precisely because of this ‘lone wolf’ way of operating. If they tried to directly conduct or manage terror plots they would be far easier to trace and to foil. However, make no mistake, these are all inspired, and encouraged, albeit indirectly, by the terror organisation.
“Just three weeks ago a statement purportedly made by Islamic State spokesman al-Adnani implored followers in the West to use the period of Ramadan as a period to wage jihad. He stated that ‘the smallest action you do in their heartland is better and more enduring to us than what you would do if you were here with us’ suggesting that the Islamic State would encourage home grown plots above coaxing potential fighters to join ISIS in the Middle East. What we have seen in America appears to be an example of what is fast becoming the standard modus operandi of this latest brand of radicalization and terrorism.
“This is alarming as it’s a particularly pernicious form of attack that is far harder to detect and shows the importance of not just foiling terror plots but working to counter the ideology that inspires them.”
Owen Jones Angry At Mention Of Islam
Last night, in a heated debate on Sky News the liberal commentator Owen Jones walked off set after he was asked about similarities between the attack in Orlando and last year's Paris attacks. Jones refused to listen to the suggestion that Islamism was to blame, instead repeating: “This was a deliberate attack on LGBT people. This was a deliberate attack on the LGBT community”.
Jones got increasingly angry at radio talk show host Julia Hartley-Brewer and Sky presenter Mark Longhurst. He finally left the studio claiming to be too upset to continue. Jones's departure prompted Douglas Murray to post the following on Tweet: “I'm sorry for Owen Jones. I would also feel guilty if I'd spent my life covering for the ideology that just killed 50 LGBT people.”