A spokesperson with the London Muslim Mosque says they tried to put Aaron Driver in contact with people who could teach him that Islam was a religion of peace and change his views.
The London Muslim Mosque issued a statement on Thursday in response to the incident in Strathroy.
“London’s Muslim community expresses its appreciation to law enforcement officials for keeping our community safe,” read the statement.
Spokesperson for the mosque, Nawaz Tahir, said Driver first came to the mosque about a year ago when they noticed he had a GPS ankle bracelet.
Tahir said they contacted London Police who gave them more information about him.
“At that time, we made a decision to try and reach out to him, to engage him, to show him the warmth of the community and to try and have him interact with people who might be able to teach him that Islam was a religion of peace, and that some of the things that he was hearing and writing were wrong,” he said.
According to Tahir, the London Muslim Mosque kept an open dialogue with the London Police Service on an “informal” basis about Driver, but there was never any cause for concern.
“There was no indication that his strong opinions were ever going to be taken to the next level. He showed no signs of aggression or wanting to carry out any kind of an attack or aggression.”
Tahir said they never had any problems with him, though their position was not to debate his beliefs, but to engage him on the true meaning of Islam to get a comfort level with him.
In a video, shown by the RCMP at a news conference on Thursday, Driver pledged allegiance to ISIS, mentioned terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States, and said Canada had “Muslim blood on its hands.”