The Penn-Trafford School District is in deep shit after their active shooting drill training video hit the Internet, featuring the “shooter” adorned in traditional Arabic garb.
“To stereotype the shooter is appalling given the data on active shooters and the recent shootings at the Tree of Life and Christ Church,” Elaine Linn, board secretary of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The action of Penn-Trafford puts our community of over 10,000 Muslims in the greater Pittsburgh area in great harm.”
According to Mother Jones, of the 110 mass shootings that occurred in the United States between 1982 and February 2019, 62 of them were carried out by a white gunman. The deadliest being the massacre that occurred on the Las Vegas strip in 2017, in which 58 people were killed and over 500 others were injured.
The next closest on the list is black gunmen with 18, followed by Latino shooters with 9.
So why in the hell is the shooter wearing a kaffiyeh in the training video?
“These volunteers were provided costumes and accessories by the consultant group to alter their appearance so that they were not readily recognizable by their co-workers,” district officials said in a statement said. “There was no intent to represent any particular culture or religion.”
The drill was staged by local security training company Command Excellence, which also provided props to disguise its participants. But John Sakoian, president and founder of the company, asserts the actor wore the headdress without permission.
“He completely, innocently converted it to that,” he said. “It’s not just a Muslim headdress. It was a neck scarf.”
But despite Sakoian’s claims, locals aren’t buying it.
“Uneducated bigotry and it’s unacceptable,” former Penn Trafford student Jarrett Ritchie told WPXI. “It’s more sad than anything.”
“Active shooter situations are a real problem in America. It’s an epidemic. It’s a tragedy, but it has nothing to do with the Muslim community,” Wasi Mohammed, executive director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, said. “It’s unacceptable. It’s disgusting. It’s another instance of people using the Muslim community to stoke fear.”