I’m not one who learned the Koran through recitation as a child, but one thing that always stands out is that there’s no compulsion in religion. You can’t tell people how to believe. It is an individual’s relationship with their creator, and human beings should not be in the business of trying to tell others how they should live their lives.
I think that, generally, when it’s a white male shooting, then it’s mental illness is the first thing that they utilize after reporting the crime. But in this instance, a Muslim, it’s always terrorism. So it’s always a direct attack towards Muslims, who are American citizens, and as well as other individuals who are here who believe in their faith. And we find that we are now in a position again of trying to protect ourselves, and, again, in some instances, causing people to become more sequestered in their day-to-day lives.
One of the issues I think is very important, in many communities of color, there’s a stigma about mental health. We find that the shaming that comes from acknowledging that one may have some issues that may relate to mental health, often people are not willing to go and seek additional help because of that shaming or that cultural stigma that’s associated with it. And I think that we need to make this change in how people approach mental health.
There are men who do exist who have no desire for women. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have an interest in men, but scholars often interpret it to mean those men who don’t have sexual knowledge.
Under the right conditions, gay people can become politicians and be in control of their lives in a much broader way through activism.
I’m growing up in Detroit, Michigan, both of my parents were gun owners, and that they taught us how to safely and carefully utilize them, because we had businesses, and they showed us out of a sense of protection. But that was something that was used to never use a gun unless you intend – never play with a gun unless you use it to intend – intend to use it. But it was for protection only.
I think one of the issues quite often, from a mental health perspective, that people find power behind a gun. Frequently, that is the issue behind most people. They feel a loss of power. They use a gun to sort of equalize things. And, of course, once the process begins, quite often people die in that process.