SAN BERNARDINO, California – The Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah of America mosque, which was until a month ago the prayer destination of choice for the terrorist Syed Farook held a press conference today during which it asked female reporters to enter a separate door from, and stand separately to the men in the room.
After Friday afternoon prayers, the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah of America invited journalists in for a 30 minute long press conference, during which they refused to tell journalists whether or not the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had made enquiries about other members of the congregation.
Journalists posed the question over half a dozen times, to three different spokesmen from the organisation. The reply that kept coming, in different forms, was “no comment”.
“So, you guys are our guests,” one speaker said. “And if we have no comment, you cannot force us to have a comment”.
Other journalists noted that residents of San Bernardino should be told as to whether or not the mosque knew of others amongst their congregation who are being investigated. Later, they asked that further media requests were handled by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
While common practice at mosques, female journalists – including Breitbart News’s Michelle Moons – were asked to enter the prayer room in which the press conference was being held via a separate door, and sit on seats on one side while male reporters stood in front of the lectern.
Journalists reacted confused, though respectful, and were not asked to cover their heads, arms, or shoulders where it applied.
Spokesmen for the mosque, including one named Roshan Abbasi, said that he – as an Arabic teacher – didn’t teach people in the mosque about the Islamic caliphate: the Islamic belief that there should be an Islamic state spanning the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Breitbart London’s Raheem Kassam asked if he believed in an Islamic caliphate – a question that Mr. Abbasi left unanswered.
The spokesmen were also asked by Breitbart News about their views on the penalty of death for leaving Islam (apostasy) which is promoted by many Islamic scholars. The mosque leaders distanced themselves from this interpretation of Islam, stating again that taking a human life is as bad as taking the life of the whole of humanity.
A full video of the press conference will be available on Breitbart News’s YouTube Channel, during which mosque leaders reiterated that Islam prohibits killing, and compared the San Bernardino terrorist attack to the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado last week.
Gasser Shehata, a regular at the mosque, told Breitbart News that no one in the mosque held radical opinions. He said during the press conference: “I know everybody here. And nobody here is having extremist ideas, including Rizwan (Syed Farook) by the way.”
He said of the mosque’s political leanings, “We don’t like Donald Trump”.