A mosque in Elizabeth, Dar-ul-Islam, is spearheading a national prayer gathering next month in Washington, D.C., that organizers are billing as the first event of its kind — organized prayer for tens of thousands of Muslims outside the U.S. Capitol building.
The event will not include political speeches or placards, just prayer, said Hassen Abdellah, president of Dar-ul-Islam and a main organizer of the event, which is scheduled for Sept. 25.
A permit from the Capitol Hill police, granted July 28, allows access to the area by the West Front of the Capitol building from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 25, but the main gathering will occur at 1 p.m., for the Friday prayer service.
Abdellah said he expects 50,000 people to attend, from mosques around the country, though non-Muslims are welcome, too. About 400 people are expected from his own mosque, which is raising money from donors to help pay the cost of the event, expected to surpass $200,000.
The gathering will occur by the site where presidents have been inaugurated since 1981. In fact, it was President Obama’s words at his inauguration in January, and then his speech in Egypt in June, that led Abdellah and an area imam, Abdul Malik, to begin discussing the idea, Abdellah said.
“For the first time in my lifetime,” Abdellah said, “I heard someone of his stature speaking about Islam and Muslims not in an adversarial sense, but in the sense of being welcome and acknowledging we are integral citizens in the society — that we’re gainfully employed, we’re educated.” Read more here ...
Source: New Jersey News