Orlando Shooter’s Mosque Denied Security After Deadly Attacks

It’s been over a week since news broke of one man’s horrific shooting spree in an Orlando area nightclub. While disturbing details continue to emerge about 29-year-old gunman Omar Mateen, the communities that have been affected are just beginning to deal with the aftermath of the terrible events.
However, the nearly 40,000 Muslims who reside in and around Fort Pierce–the shooter’s hometown–have yet to properly deal with the tragedy due to heavy media spotlight.
The Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, the mosque where Mateen supposedly worshipped on rare occasions, reported Thursday afternoon that the Sheriff’s Office would no longer provide security for the property.
“This may be the most dangerous place in the world right now,” said Wilfredo Ruiz, a civil rights attorney and the communications director for The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Florida. “I’ve spoken to adults there who broke into tears talking about how scared they are.”
Local law enforcement were instructed to guard the mosque following the attacks last Sunday, but they have since refused to station deputies on the property despite perceived threats to the small center. Patrol vehicles have reportedly frequented through the neighborhood.
Imam Syed Shafeeq Rahman informed Ruiz that the Islamic Center even offered to pay for services after receiving the notice, but were outright refused.
Ken Mascara of St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Department said that his team is currently limited by staffing and prior contracts. He noted that the refusal is not an act of discrimination.
“The Islamic Center, as well as other locations in our county will continue to be on an enhanced patrol schedule. Details of that schedule and what it entails will not be disclosed,” the Sheriff’s office said in an official email.
Leaders of the mosque have since turned to the U.S. Department of Justice to be involved.
Ruiz also commented that the Islamic Center, on their busiest days of Friday prayer, sees less than 150 people.
A post pinned to the top of their Facebook page currently reads:
“We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured. The Muslim community of Fort Pierce joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence.”
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Private security has just recently been hired for the Islamic Center, and an armed guard will be available on the premises. The mosque is also working on getting a marked patrol car to provide added protection through the end of Ramadan, when the place of worship is most used.