One-on-one with father of Orlando nightclub gunman
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The father of the man named as the shooter at a gay Florida nightclub says he is "in shock like the whole country." Seddique Mateen says he wasn't aware of anything his son, Omar Mateen, might have been planning.
"I don't approve any kind of violence, in any shape or form. I wish I did know what he was doing, and I am not aware of what he was doing," said Mateen, in an interview with FOX 35. "In the United States, I give him the best education as possible. He had his own house and his own life, so he was living separately. We provided for him love and care, the best possible way a father and a mother can provide, so what happened? It really surprised me, and if he was alive today, I would ask him one question as a parent: 'Why did you do this? Why?'"
According to the Associated Press, Seddique Mateen has a television show on Payam-e-Afghan, a California-based channel that supports ethnic solidarity with the Afghan Taliban, which are mostly Pashtun.
Viewers from Pashtun communities in the United States regularly call in to espouse support for Pashtun domination of Afghanistan over the nation's minorities, including Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks.
Mateen's "Durand Jirga Show" has an anti-Pakistan slant. The name of the show references the Durand line, the long-disputed border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A former Afghan official said Mateen's show also expresses sympathy for the Taliban, complains about foreigners in Afghanistan and criticizes U.S. actions there. The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he did not want to be linked to coverage of the shooting. Mateen denied any support for the Taliban in the interview with FOX 35.
Mateen, who lavished praise on current Afghan President Ashraf Ghani when he appeared on the TV program in January 2014, has since denounced the Ghani government, the Associated Press reports. The official said that on Saturday, Seddique Mateen, dressed in military fatigues, used his program to criticize the current Afghan government and announce that he would run in the next Afghan presidential election.
Some information taken from the Associated Press.