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Orlando Shooter’s Father Speaks Out About His Son's Actions

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After 29-year-old Omar Mateen staged the worst mass shooting in U.S. history inside the walls of Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, saddened and shocked people everywhere have been asking "Why?" Were the motives homophobia, extremism or both? Could we have seen this coming? As many seek to understand why this tragedy occurred, Mateen's father spoke out about his son's actions.

CBS News reports that Seddique Mir Mateen posted in a Facebook video yesterday that he had no knowledge of what caused his son to kill other people. "I don't know what has caused him to shoot and I did not understand that he holds (a) grudge in his heart," said Seddique. "I am terrifically saddened by what he did."

Although he tried to apologize on his son's behalf, the elder Mateen also mentioned, in a pretty questionable way, the homophobia surrounding the incident. "God himself will give punishment to homosexuality, it is not for people to decide."

However, Mateen clarified these statements in a recent interview with CBS News at his request, claiming that he does not agree nor condone his son's actions. "He doesn't have the right, nobody has the right to harm anything, anybody."

The elder Mateen continued, "What a person's lifestyle is, is up to him. It's a free country. Everybody has their own choice to live the way they want to live." Mateen also said he was unaware of any radical Islamic connections or beliefs his son may have had.

"I wish I did know that what he was doing. If I did catch him, I would have arrested him myself," said Seddique, according to WBUR.

Despite Seddique Mateen’s empathetic rhetoric in his video and interview, some experts have pinned him as "delusional." According toThe Washington Post, the elder Mateen hosted a California-based Afghani T.V. show, called "Durand Jirga," that often contained inflammatory, anti-U.S. sentiments—including a Thank You to the Afghan Taliban. He also posted videos to YouTube claiming to be an important Afghan analyst and leader, in addition to posing as a “revolutionary” president of Afghanistan. He has even tried to order the arrests of multiple Afghan political figures, believing himself to be a leader of a transitional revolution for the Middle Eastern nation.

Despite his dubious past, Mateen told The Post that he planned on visiting Orlando to comfort the families of victims. "If they're not ready, I still say to them, "I'm sorry,'" he said. "I’m saddened for their injury or if they lost their dear one."


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