A day after 49 people were massacred at a gay dance club in Orlando, the gunman's father, Seddique Mir Mateen, posted a video on Facebook in which he said that it should have been up to God — not his son — to administer "punishment" for homosexuality.
In the video, which was posted early Monday morning and later removed, Mateen said that his son's actions are not supported by Islam, but he also suggested that the victims of the attack — the deadliest mass shooting in US history — deserved to be punished by a higher power.
"The punishment for homosexuality is upon God and he will decide on them not humans," Mateen said. "What he [my son] has done has shocked me... I ask God for help and guidance for all the youth to follow the true path of Islam."
Omar Mateen, 29, was killed in a shootout with police inside Pulse, the Orlando nightclub where the attack occurred. He was living in Port St. Lucie, a city about a two-hour drive southeast of Orlando on Florida's Atlantic coast, where he worked as a private security guard. He was questioned by the FBI three times in five years over suspected links to terrorism. One of his former co-workers described him as "unhinged and unstable," and his ex-wife said he was physically abusive. Authorities said that Mateen called 911 during the attack and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
"My son, Omar Mateen, was a very good boy and well-educated person, he had a son and wife and was living a dignified life and respected his parents," the elder Mateen said in the Facebook video. "I don't know what has caused him to do this."
Mateen's father told NBC News on Sunday that his son became very angry recently after seeing two men kissing in downtown Miami in front of his young son.
"He saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid, and he got very angry," the father said. "They were kissing each other and touching each other, and he said: 'Look at that. In front of my son, they are doing that.' And then we were in the men's bathroom, and men were kissing each other."
The younger Mateen was born a US citizen to parents who originally hailed from Afghanistan. It's unclear when his father immigrated to the United States, but he has continued to follow Afghan politics. The elder Mateen used to host the "Durand Jirga Show," a public access television show that was broadcast from California on the channel Payam-e-Afghan. On the program, he frequently criticized former Afghan leader Hamid Karzai and current President Ashraf Ghani, along with Pakistan, which he blames for the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan. He repeated those accusations again on Monday.
"Pakistan is responsible for all the malaises of Afghanistan and it is Pakistan which supports terrorism," he said at the end of the recent Facebook video. "And at last I would say long live the revolutionary nation of Afghanistan, down with Pakistan."
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