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Posted at 11:28 AM ET, 03/11/2010

Handful of people protest imam at Virginia Capitol

By Washington Post editors

A handful of demonstrators gathered outside the Virginia state Capitol Thursday to protest a Falls Church imam who is scheduled to give the opening prayer in the House of Delegates this afternoon.

The imam, Johari Abdul-Malik of the Dar Al Hijraj Islamic Center, has been accused of condoning violence.

"It's inappropriate,'' said James Lafferty, chairman of The Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force, one of the groups organizing the protest. "The politicians need to stand up and say something."

Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers briefly worshiped at Abdul-Malik's mosque. Abdul-Malik was not affiliated with the mosque when the attacks occurred.

Abdul-Malik said he has been "mischaracterzied" by the protesters. "I think this is a group that has a particular agenda, but I think in this case they picked the wrong the imam."

For continuing coverage of this story visit the Virginia Politics blog.

By Washington Post editors  | March 11, 2010; 11:28 AM ET
Categories:  Virginia  
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