In this powerful op-ed for the Washington Post, Mohammed A. Malik, who is a Floridian Muslim, negates Trump’s view that the Muslim community is not cooperating with law enforcement when they suspect someone they know may be susceptible to extremism. Mr. Malik knew Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter, and while for most of their relationship he saw the young man as a quiet man who gave no indications of a dark side, this opinion about him changed in the summer of 2014 when Mr. Malik found out that Omar was “listening to the lectures of Anwar al-Awlaki, the charismatic Yemen-based imam who helped radicalize several Muslims, including the Fort Hood shooter.”
Mr. Malik immediately contacted the FBI and alerted the agency that Omar had been watching Al-Awlaki’s tapes. As Mr. Malik says, “[Omar] hadn’t committed any acts of violence and wasn’t planning any, as far as I knew. And I thought he probably wouldn’t, because he didn’t fit the profile: He already had a second wife and a son. But it was something agents should keep their eyes on. I never heard from them about Omar again, but apparently they did their job: They looked into him, and finding nothing to go on, they closed the file.”
As Mr. Malik continues,“We’re still in shock. We’re totally against what he did, and we feel the deepest sadness for the victims and their families. If you don’t agree with someone, you don’t have the right to kill them. We are taught to be kind to all of God’s creation. 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. You can’t mutilate dead bodies. You can’t destroy buildings, especially churches or temples. You can’t force anyone to accept Islam. ‘If anyone slew one person, it would be as if he killed the whole of humanity,’ says the Koran.
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.”