Immediately after the attack, University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole announced, "I don't think it probably was terrorism in any useful sense of the term." His reasoning? Mateen didn't "make demands about U.S. government policy," and hitting soft targets is "not a form of classical strategic terrorism." The victims of terrorist attacks – many issued without demands – on cafés, malls, restaurants, resorts, schools, social services, and countless other soft targets would beg to differ.
. . . Meanwhile, Omid Safi, director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center, decried "[t]he sickness, the homophobia, the violence, and the ease of access to war-grade guns that brought about this vile terrorist attack," predicting that "the solution" will come about only when Americans "confront this xenophobia and violence in our own society."
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