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Local Imam: "Silently, I said, 'oh, god. Don't let it be a muslim'."

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 19:20:44-04
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Shock quickly turned to grief for Imam Mohammed Al-Darsani who first heard about the mass shooting in Orlando minutes after waking up.
 
"It really was hard to see," Al Darsani said. "Then literally, silently, I said, 'oh, God. Don't let it be a Muslim."
 
Moments after a name was released of the shooter responsible for a deadly nightclub rampage causing terror in Orlando.
 
"When the name came out I said, 'Oh, God - here we go again."
 
Imam Al-Darsani oversees the Islamic Center for Peace in Fort Myers. Four In Your Corner asked if the center or local mosques have received threats since the attack.
 
"Right here no, but in other cities yes."
 
He says mosques and Islamic centers have received threatening voice mails and violent letters. He says it is stirring fear in some Muslim communities but there has been a lot of support by people who, he says, understand Islam isn't rooted in violence. 
 
"Islam is not a religion of violence. We need to go to the root causing all of this and we need to be honest, we need to be open, and we need to be frank and sincere in our efforts to deal with this."
 
The shooter called 9-1-1 and pledged allegiance to ISIS during the violent shooting rampage at a gay club in Orlando. There are also reports he visited a local mosque days before. 
 
I cannot deny it; He is a stupid Muslim, he is a crooked Muslim," Imam Al-Darsani said. He tells Four In Your Corner the shooter is not representing what Muslims believe in, putting the Muslim community in an ongoing war fighting a stereotype of violence.
 
"The Islamic State is a phenomenon that has nothing to do with Islam, it's a criminal enterprise."
 
He assures Four In Your Corner, the Muslim community condemns this recent attack.
 
"Islam, although, does not condone the lifestyle of the LGBT community, every life is sacred."
 
He says he hopes the sacred lives lost are remembered as the community begins to heal from this tragic day. 
 
"We hope something like that will never happen again and we hope to turn this tragic experience into a positive one."