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Father of Orlando gunman: 'Up to God to punish homosexuals'

Cherie Chan
June 13, 2016

The father of the gunman expressed his sadness over the attack in Orlando and said his son was "a good guy and well-educated." The video was deleted on his Facebook account just a few hours after it was published.

USA Schießerei in Orlando zahlreiche Tote Nightclub Pulse
Image: Getty Images/G. Mora

"I don't know why he did this in the holy month of Ramadan. It's up to God to punish homosexuals. It's not up to us to judge," said Seddique Mir Mateen, the father of the shooter who opened fire at a gay nightclub in Florida.

Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old New York native, attacked the popular nightclub Pulse early Sunday, leaving 49 people dead and 53 wounded. The attack is the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

The three-minute video was posted on the Afghan-born father's Facebook page early Monday, but was taken down just hours after it was published.

Speaking in Dari, one of the local languages spoken in Afghanistan, Mateen pointed out that he was saddened by the death of 50 people in the gay club, however, referring to it as a "hamjensbazi" club, a derogatory word for homosexuals in Dari.

Shooter Omar Mateen
The shooter Omar Mateen was an American citizen with Afghan rootsImage: picture-alliance/AP Photo

"This is not an act a Muslim would do. It has been haunting me," he added, sitting in front of an Afghan flag.

In the beginning of the video, Mateen says that his son was a very well-educated man with "a child and a wife, and had always respected elders." He also pointed out that Omar Mateen obtained the rifle that he used in the attack from his employer.

Seddique Mateen is an immigrant from Afghanistan and occasionally hosted a television show "Durand Jirga," where he shared anti-Pakistan, pro-Afghanistan political views. He even portrayed himself as the president of Afghanistan in one of the videos, which eventually triggered the California-based channel Payam-e-Afghan to stop using him as a host, according to the Guardian.

Mateen has also been uploading videos with political messages to his Facebook account, which has more than 9,000 followers and where he sometimes even dresses up in military uniforms. In addition to that he also has his own YouTube channel with more than 100 videos posted between 2012 and 2015. The channel has more than 1,000 subscribers.

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