Less than one month after the shooting at the LGBT Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, an assault took place at the now-deceased shooter Omar Mateen’s mosque, the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce. Attending the mosque, at the time, was Abdul Rauf Khan, an official from the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). His account of the assault has been called into question by local law enforcement. What should also be called into question is the mosque’s involvement with Khan and ICNA, entities with links to terror and bigotry.
The Islamic Center of Fort Pierce (ICFP) has numerous associations with terrorism. In May 2014, mosque goer and devoted member of al-Nusra, Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, drove a massive truck bomb into a restaurant in Jabal al-Arbaeen, Syria, killing himself and several Syrian troops. On June 12, 2016, while pledging allegiance to ISIS, mosque goer Omar Mateen murdered 49 individuals in a mass shooting he had perpetrated at the Orlando gay nightclub, Pulse. Mateen’s father and former ICFP Vice President, Seddique Mir Mateen, has publicly stated his support for the Taliban.
Following the Pulse attack, the Communications Director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, was named ICFP spokesman. CAIR was created in June 1994 as part of a terrorist umbrella group headed by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named by the Justice Department a co-conspirator in the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. CAIR reps have served jail time and/or have been deported for terror-related crimes. In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Miami, where rally goers shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.”
Last month, ICFP brought to the mosque another terror-related group, ICNA Relief, the main charity of ICNA.
On July 31st, ICFP hosted an event titled ‘BACK2SCHOOL GIVEAWAY.’ The event was a project of ICNA Relief (the event organizer) and co-sponsored by CAIR.
ICNA is the American affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). JI’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen, owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding out and where he was eventually killed by US Navy Seals. ICNA, itself, has been linked to terrorist financing and has used the web to promote different terrorist groups, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban. ICNA conducts annual functions along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), which, in November 2014, along with CAIR and others, was designated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government a terrorist organization.
Leading the BACK2SCHOOL event was the Secretary of ICNA Florida and extreme bigot, Abdul Rauf Khan. Khan has used his Facebook page to post videos dedicated to Nation of Islam leader and anti-Jewish fanatic Louis Farrakhan and Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood. He has been photographed wearing Muslim Brotherhood garb, himself. He also posted a video on his Facebook site glorifying a member of Hezbollah as a “hero,” and he posted a link to an anti-Semitic video labeling comedian talk show host Bill Maher, “Zionist Jew Bill Maher.”
This was not Khan’s first time at ICFP. He was also there at the beginning of July, during a physical confrontation involving one of ICFP’s mosque goers.
On July 2nd, at around 4:00 am, a mosque goer at ICFP, who had been locked out of his car that was parked outside the mosque, was assaulted by an individual who had driven up in a white truck. Police were called to the scene and, upon arriving, found the victim bleeding from the mouth. The assailant, Taylor Anthony Mazzanti, was soon apprehended.
Khan, who was at the mosque at the time of the assault, described what he alleges had taken place. According to a news report, Khan claimed that he had brought the victim to a friend’s house to retrieve a wire hanger, so that they could attempt to open the car door. According to another report, Khan and the victim “stood nearly side by side,” when the man in the truck “got out and approached them from behind.”
Khan claimed that the attacker stated during the attack, “You Muslims need to go back to where you came from.” Khan said of the attacker, “He was cursing, saying ‘Muslim this and Muslim that.’” And “He had been drinking. He was smelling bad. It was a vicious attack. He just started throwing punches.”
There are a number of problems with Khan’s story, however. According to the victim, Khan offered to stay and help open the car, but the man “told Khan to go inside because he had already took up too much of his time.” It was only after Khan went inside that the truck pulled up. Video provided by the mosque supports this scenario, as Khan is not present in the video during the attack.
Furthermore, according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara, “the person who called 911 said someone was trying to burglarize a vehicle, and the victim on the scene said his attacker merely asked him what he was doing before punching him.” He stated that interviews by detectives and supervisors and a statement by the victim “don’t indicate racially motivated comments were made during the attack.”
The mosque has released a statement mimicking Khan’s allegations, as well as a photo of Khan and the victim with big smiles, taken just a day after the assault. Wilfredo Ruiz used the story to take a jab at the Sheriff’s Office, which refused the mosque security following the Orlando shooting. Sheriff Mascara responded forcefully by stating, “The untruthful rhetoric from the mosque and its spokesperson is doing nothing more than trying to bring empathy to their cause…”
Of course, the mosque, CAIR and Khan want more than just empathy. They want to push the hate crimes angle – ‘Islamophobia’ – and make themselves out to be the victims, when in reality it is they who are promoting violence and hatred. They hide behind this misleading term as a way to mask their radical behavior: the mosque’s association with ISIS and the Taliban, CAIR’s association with Hamas, and ICNA’s association with all of the above.
We should thank the Sheriff for calling them out on their lies and/or exaggerations. You can personally do so, by sending a note here.
ICFP is a hotbed of jihad and terrorism and poses a legitimate threat to the security of the United States. We should look forward to the day, when the Sheriff receives the authority to finally padlock its doors.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.