The Orlando shooting has become one of the deadliest in recent American history, with over 50 dead and 50 injured. What is even more grievous is that the attack was carried out against the homosexual community, which is marginalised across the world already. So far, the authorities have attempted to pinpoint the root cause behind Omar Mateen’s – an Afghani national – actions, and any behavioural expert must be rightfully confused because of the many facets of possible motivations for carrying out this heinous crime. The obvious homophobia and link to Islamic terrorism aside, the attacker’s ex-wife has also suggested that the culprit had a history of mental instability. The worst part of all this is that the opponents of gun control can once again firmly pin the blame on everything but the weapons themselves, which will leave the obvious problem of ease of access to guns unaddressed.

Even though we are quick to defend our religion in times like these, as we should, a line has to be drawn somewhere. How many attacks of this nature have to take place before we even start debating whether this might actually be a ‘Muslim problem’? Not in the way the West paints it, or the way Donald Trump supporters think all Muslims have a tendency to be terrorists. But there has to come a point where Muslims realise that their religion has been corrupted by a certain few, for monetary or political gain, and this mutated belief system also has wide-ranging support. Those that are hoping against all hope that each attacker is not a Muslim or a fellow countryman should remember that disassociating oneself from the problem is not going to help anything. Just saying that the attacker is not a ‘real’ Muslim is not a sufficient answer anymore. Everyone else still looks at him in that light, and the religion’s integrity is automatically challenged.

There has to come a point where we address the root cause, and talk about how extremist elements of the religion have been mutated to form this now regressive doctrine that leads someone to murder over 50 people in one fell stroke. Islam needs to raise its voice as a whole and move towards a more moderate direction, one that strictly adheres to the principles of peace and not jihad. Bear in mind, that the concept of religious struggle was coined when the Muslims had no place to call home. That is not the case anymore. All these terrorist groups do, is play on that age-old sentiment and make people believe that something is being taken from them. And even if it was, which it isn’t, an armed struggle in a world where traditional warfare does not work is redundant. The first step towards fixing a problem, is admitting that there is one in the first place.