Sohail Ahmed, a self-described reformed Islamic extremist and gay Muslim, spoke with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on radical Islam.
Ahmed said given that Islamists believes gays are abominations and evil that stipulates gays should be executed, "it's not surprising that he did end up on a shooting spree."
"Just imagine you're brought up believing that you're an abomination, that you're evil, and that you should hide who you are," Ahmed said of Islamic beliefs. "That would result in internalized homophobia, which would then extend to externalized homophobia."
"On top of that, given that there are significant and mainstream conservative traditionalist interpretations of Islam that stipulate that gay people should be killed, it's not surprising that he did end up on a shooting spree. That together with the fact that he was mentally ill and that -- also, and primarily I would say, the Islamist ideology, all of that together basically led him to, in my view, carry out this attack," the reformed Muslim said on Friday's broadcast of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
In the first half of the interview, Ahmed talked about how he "de-radicalized" from being an Islamic extremist and came to terms with his sexuality:
AHMED: I was trying to cure my sexuality by becoming more religious. Given that I was a Salafi Muslim, that meant I was becoming more radical. So, it's a bit strange and it might seem a bit paradoxical. But that was the case with me
I became de-radicalized way before I even came out to myself… After I became de-radicalized, the final thing that I changed my mind on and that I managed to gather the courage to change my mind on was my sexuality. And the way I did that was researching, looking at scientific studies on the topic of sexuality because I wouldn’t study -- I wouldn't trust my own feelings. So, when I looked at that, I realized being gay is natural… Then I studied progressive liberal interpretations of Islam of which there are many… The LGBT positive interpretations, I was convinced by them. And then I was, for the first time ever, happy to be Muslim and happy to be gay.
(transcript via MSNBC)