WASHINGTON: A Muslim American of Pakistani descent says he had told about Omar Mateen, who killed 50 people in Florida State, to FBI after listening to his radical thoughts in 2014, and criticized Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump for accusing Muslims for not sharing such information with government officials.
Writing in the leading US newspaper, the Washington Post, for a front-page story, Mohammad A. Malik said in 2014 a Muslim boy in their neighborhood in Florida, Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, was reported to be the suicide bomber who attacked a government office in Syria.
Being a patriotic American, Malik said he offered to speak about Moner after reports that American officials were looking for people to give them some background. “I am an American Muslim, and I wanted to do my part. I didn’t want more innocent people to die.”
After that, Malik, who came from Pakistan as a little boy at the age of six, said he met other members of the Islamic community, including Omar, to talk about the bomber. Both Malik and Omar attended the same mosque as that boy bomber. ” That’s when Omar told me he had been watching videos of ( Anwar Al) – Awlaki, too,” the Yemen-based Imam whose teaching had radicalized Moner.
Malik said it raised red flag for him when Omar told him that the videos were very powerful. Malik wrote that after speaking to Omar, he contacted the FBI again to let them know that Omar had been watching Awlaki’s tapes. However, FBI looked into him and closed the file after finding nothing against him.
Malik wrote that Trump wrongly thinks that Muslims hide such information from authorities which, he added, was a common idea in the United States. “Trump is wrong that we don’t speak up when we’re able? I know this firsthand (about Omar): I was the one who told the FBI about Omar Mateen.”
“We’re still in shock. We’re totally against what he did, and we feel the deepest sadness for the victims and their families, Islam is very strict about killing: Even in war” to say nothing of peace” you cannot harm women, children, the elderly, the sick, clergymen, or even plants,” Malik wrote.
“I had told the FBI about Omar because my community, and Muslims generally, have nothing to hide. I love this country, like most Muslims that I know. I don’t agree with every government policy (I think there’s too much money in politics, for instance), but I’m proud to be an American. I vote. I volunteer. I teach my children to treat all people kindly.”
“Trump’s assertions about our community” that we have the ability to help our country but have simply declined to do so” are tragic, ugly and wrong,” Malik said. -APP