The Fort Pierce Islamic Center, where mass-shooter Omar Mateen prayed, has a pretty bad track record when it comes to teaching peace.
The house of worship on Midway Road has been a spiritual home to two terrorists: Mateen, who perpetrated the deadliest mass shooting in America when he shot up a gay nightclub in Orlando yesterday and Moner Muhammed Abu Salha, the Vero Beach resident who is considered the first American suicide bomber in Syria.
“This is a coincidence,” said Dr. Syed Rahman, the imam at the mosque where Mateen went several times a week to pray told WPTV-5.
“There is no teaching given about extremism in this mosque. There is nothing coming in the sermon or the speeches.”
Rahaman told CBS12’s Israel Balderas: “My message always to my congregation, to my children to everybody that I know, that we are … in making our children religious, but draw … a line for them. Don’t make them too much religious that they become terrorists.”
He continued in this video Balderas posted to Twitter: pic.twitter.com/39hmdDaAx5
The shooting comes during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan when believers fast from dawn until dusk.
It’s traditional for Muslim communities to gather and eat together during Ramadan.
Mosque members shared their memories of Mateen and his with the press.
They said Mateen came several times a week with his 3-year-old son to pray, though Rahman said Mateen was only a “sporadic” visitor.
However, Mateen’s sisters were regulars at the mosque where they often helped out with cleaning.