Florida state records reveal the gay-bashing, Taliban-loving father of the terrorist who massacred gay nightclub-goers helped run the small area mosque where his son worshipped, and local authorities and neighbors say the Islamic center was a “breeding ground” for terrorists.
The revelations call into question claims by the mosque’s cleric, who has maintained in media interviews he had little interaction with terrorist Omar Seddique Mateen and hardly knew the gunman who regularly attended his mosque. They also contradict assertions his mosque is moderate and only teaches “peace.”
Islamic Center of Fort Pierce Imam Syed Shafeeq Ur Rahman insisted he never preached anything that would have radicalized Mateen and, for that matter, never even had a conversation with him.
“Personally know him? No. Because he came, last minute, he pray and he leave,” Rahman said in broken English. “We don’t socialize. How would I know (him)?”
The imam also claimed the 29-year-old Mateen was not a member of the mosque, portraying him instead as a marginal figure, an outsider.
In fact, Mateen worshipped at the tiny, 130-member mosque for more than 13 years, praying there three to four times a week.
More importantly, his father shared leadership duties at the mosque for several years with Rahman as the mosque president’s second in command.
According to Florida state articles of incorporation papers filed and signed by Rahman, Siddique Mateen (aka Seddique Mir Mateen) served as a director and vice president of the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce under Rahman, who’s listed as president.
Congregants say Mateen’s father would pray alongside his son at the mosque. When pressed in a phone interview to explain how he managed to avoid for more than a decade any conversation with the son of such a top official — indeed the No. 2 officer in the mosque — Rahman hung up the phone.
Odder still, Rahman was familiar with other members of the Mateen family, all of whom attended the mosque. It turns out that Omar Mateen’s three sisters regularly worked in the mosque, performing cleaning and other duties.
Rahman said he is cooperating with FBI agents who are asking questions about Mateen. But it’s hardly the first time federal investigators have visited the mosque. They’ve been there in the past when there have been other violent acts tied to Muslim worshipers.
In 2014, for example, FBI agents wanted to know if a young American suicide bomber had been radicalized at the mosque. It turns out that the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce was also the spiritual home of Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who is believed to have been the first American suicide bomber in Syria.
Abusalha left his car at the mosque before flying to Syria, where he joined a branch of al-Qaida and in May 2014 detonated a massive bomb in a truck he was driving on the battlefield.
Two years later, Abusalha’s mosque buddy Omar Mateen would also “martyr” himself in a jihadist attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, slaughtering 49 innocent people before dying in a hail of bullets fired by SWAT police.
It marked the second time in 24 months that someone in Rahman’s flock had committed a deadly act of terrorism. Coincidence?
Just one day before Mateen shot 102 people, he prayed at Rahman’s mosque. That was Friday night. Early Sunday morning, he called a 911 operator and expressed his solidarity with his old pal Abusalha, who shared his homicidal hatred for homosexuals. Both believed gays should be killed for their “sin,” citing sacred Islamic texts calling for the death penalty.
Where would they get such homophobic notions? Rahman insists they didn’t come from the mosque.
Added Rahman: “There is no teaching of extremism in this mosque.”
But the preacher acknowledged that “in Islam, being gay is a sin,” and in fact, he equates homosexuals with liars and thieves.
Such anti-homosexual views were also passed on by trustees of the mosque, including most notably, Siddique Mateen.
The former official and current member of the mosque, who emigrated from Afghanistan, not only openly praised the Taliban, who stoned homosexuals to death in Afghanistan, but preached that homosexuals should be punished.
In a video posted the day after his son massacred gay club-goers, Mateen declared: “God will punish those involved in homosexuality.”
Despite his public show of patriotism, Siddique Mateen was also known to preach anti-U.S. rhetoric. It appears to have rubbed off on his son, who once told classmates that America got what it “deserves” on 9/11.
Sources says the mosque, which was converted from an old church in the early 1990s, promotes the teachings of Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, the late Pakistani radical and contemporary of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. Maududi preached that Islam will destroy the West. Before the 9/11 attacks, he ominously warned: “A time will come when capitalistic democracy will tremble for its safety in Washington and New York.”
He also said: “The objective of Islamic jihad is to put an end to the dominance of the un-Islamic systems of government and replace them with Islamic rule.”
“Islam wishes to do away with all states and governments anywhere which are opposed to this ideology and program of Islam,” Maududi also wrote. “Islam requires the earth — not just a portion, but the entire planet.”
In a national security speech Monday, Donald Trump said terrorism investigators have to take a closer look at Mateen’s place of worship.
“We need to know if he was affiliated with any radical mosques or radical activists,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee asserted.
The choice could not be more clear: One candidate wants to halt the importation of Muslim terrorists to the U.S. and the other candidate Hillary Clinton Supports ‘500% Increase in Syrian Muslim Refugees.’