Orlando shooter's Muslim faith targeted on social media while others worry about backlash

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The mass shooting at the Pulse Orlando nightclub is the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. According to Orlando officials, Omar Mateen shot and killed at least 49 people and injured 53 more when he opened fire on an estimated 320 people at the nightclub.

Mateen is a U.S. citizen, born to parents who emigrated from Afghanistan, according to ABC News. Mateen's father told NBC News that the shooting "had nothing to do with religion."


Soon after the FBI announced the identified Mateen as the shooter, many people on social media tweeted their reactions of the shooters’ faith, registered political party linking the shooting to Islam and the Democratic Party.

#BREAKING #OrlandoShooting terrorist, Omar Mateen, 29, is a registered #DEMOCRAT #Hillary is proud pic.twitter.com/nGUiRYMCRZ

— Lucid Hurricane™✘ (@LucidHurricane_) June 12, 2016

Meanwhile, some American Muslims condemned the gunman and the shooting on social media. Backlash and increased Islamophobia against Muslims started to take place after what seems to be constant media coverage of the mass shooting committed by a Muslim man.


Even with the heightened emotions after the shooting, there were still some who called for a balanced reaction.



Alaa Basatneh is a human-rights activist and a writer at Fusion focusing on the Arab world. She is the protagonist of the 2013 documentary "#ChicagoGirl."

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