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Hundreds protest Fairfax imam giving prayer in Va. House tomorrow

Anita Kumar

Hundreds of people are urging House of Delegates leaders to revoke an invitation to a Falls Church imam to give the prayer tomorrow, accusing him of condoning violence and defending the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Johari 'Abdul-Malik demonstrates regularly his contempt for the rule of law and his support for terrorist acts against America,'' writes James Lafferty, chairman of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force. "Speaking before the General Assembly is an honor which should be reserved for those who have done something worth honoring."

Del. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) said he asked Abdul-Malik of the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center to give the opening prayer in the House tomorrow because many of his constituents attend the center. "He's a great guy,'' Ebbin said.

Ebbin sent a letter to his 99 colleagues this morning defending his choice of Abdul-Malik, and saying any concerns about him were driven by "false rumors propagated on the Internet."

Many of the e-mails have asked Speaker William J. Howell to revoke Abdul-Malik's invitation, but Howell's chief of staff, G. Paul Nardo, said the House's practice is generally to allow delegates to invite religious leaders of differing faiths if they choose.

Abdul-Malik would be the first imam to deliver the opening prayer in the House during this year's legislative session, although others have done so in the past.

By Anita Kumar  |  March 10, 2010; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , State Senate  
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Comments

Idiots.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 10, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The fact that he's Muslim doesn't make him an apologist for terror. Such incendiary charges should be substantiated. If the internet babble is false, shame on those disseminating these falsehoods. If it's accurate, then shame on us.

Posted by: ajlerner1 | March 10, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Hundreds? Only one person is mentioned! We need better reporting.

Posted by: DutyHonorCountry | March 10, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Why does it seem that the only people who have time to write/petition our elected officials are xenophobes and bigots? I guess the rest of the middle class is to busy trying to be productive and actually go to work...

Posted by: BurtReynolds1 | March 10, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

One Hundred Million Americans now realize that 9-11 was an INSIDE JOB! Let the man speak and stop blaming Muslims for everything wrong with the world.

Posted by: amillionto1 | March 10, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Rather than protesting the person giving a prayer there should be a protest that a prayer is even necessary. This is a legislative session not a church. Why are we mixing religion and politics?

Posted by: nosa1nt | March 10, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Hundreds of people are urging..." How so? Are they walking around with protest signs? Did they sign a petition?

"...his support for terrorist acts against America." How so? Did he write something? Does he preach support for terrorist acts?

I know this a blog, Kumar, but at least give us the basics of the story. Otherwise, you're just maligning one man based on the say so of another man.

Posted by: bob16 | March 10, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Every time I think Virginia's starting to make some progress some stupid bigotry rears its ugly head and bites me. First we have Governor McDonnell breaking his campaign promise not to touch the executive orders prohibiting discrimination, then we have Ken Cuccinelli (Kookinelli) issuing a letter opinion which apparently was not asked for by anybody declaring that universities cannot forbid discrimination against gays, and now we have the hysterical religious bigots of the right making baseless charges that a Muslim imam must be a supporter of terror. I think this imam is the same one who helped the parents of the young men who traveled to Pakistan report their disappearance to the authorities. He's always been heavily involved in ecumenical appearances and prayers with the leaders of Christian and Jewish congregations.

It's time to stop acting as if all Muslims are evil terrorists. Most of them are perfectly ordinary people who want what's best for their families and to live peaceful lives.

Posted by: Lawlady584 | March 10, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

It's a wonder Virginians haven't called for his public beheading on the state grounds.

Posted by: racerdoc | March 10, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

What about the principle of separation of "Church and State"? The last thing US needs is some religious nut in high power gov't seat; otherwise, what is the different between us and Iran?

Posted by: drkly | March 10, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Iman, priest, minister, rabbi, medicine (wo)man; that is not the issue. Non of them should be doing their incantations in a State building.

Posted by: elwoll | March 10, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The Dar Al Hijrah mosque is always cause for concern. Two of the 9/11 hijackers attended that mosque, as did the Fort Hood Shooter, Major Hassan. A number of its imams have been forced to leave the country over revelations that they were fomenting militant Wahhabi teachings. The valedictorian of a related religious school is now serving a life sentence for planning to assassinate President Bush. Another mosque official was kicked off an Interfaith Council set up by the Virginia governor after footage came out of him leading a pro-Hamas rally in downtown D.C. Even a halfway competent Google search on "Dar Al Hijrah" and "investigation" turns up dozens of separate but interrelated instances of militant connections to the mosque.

In other words, maybe you ought to do a little research before assuming that Virginians are a bunch of xenophobic rednecks for not wanting yet another radical Muslim from a terrorist-inculcating mosque to give a "prayer" at a state function. That this even needs to be explained after 9/11 boggles the mind.

Posted by: zippyspeed | March 10, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Have him explain after his prayers as to why Muslims are taking to terror every day. And why they are so intolerant of others

Posted by: RobertKundrally | March 10, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

The Dar Al Hijrah mosque is a big, popular site where the vast majority of Muslims in the area worship -- the includes Muslims who are Republican, Democratic, liberal, conservative, professional, working class, you name it. If any Muslim has been through northern Virginia, they are likely to have worshipped there just as they are likely to have driven on the Beltway. By the McCarthy-style reasoning of the idiot comments here, that means both this huge mosque and the Beltway are hotbeds of terrorism.

It is outrageous for people to post disgusting, anti-religious slurs against an entire religious community. This is the kind of hatred that defeats attempts for us to live together as a true commonwealth. I am ashamed of the know-nothings who would reject a community leader this way. After September 11, residents rallied at the mosque for a vigil to show them they are welcome, known neighbors. I wish that spirit prevailed beyond those who took the time to stand with them that night.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | March 10, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

What an irony that an openly gay man (Adam Ebbin) would invite a prayer from a representative of a religion that calls for the death penalty for homosexuality.

If Ebbin lived in Iran or Saudi Arabia, he would be dead by hanging -- or worse.

Posted by: RickSincere | March 10, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

What an irony that an openly gay man (Adam Ebbin) would invite a prayer from a representative of a religion that calls for the death penalty for homosexuality.

If Ebbin lived in Iran or Saudi Arabia, he would be dead by hanging -- or worse.

Posted by: RickSincere

===============

If it makes you feel any better Uganda is primarily a Christian country that's working on a kill gays bill that 3 Americans right wing Christians are getting credit for getting the ball rolling on that on. [A PR nightmare for them.] The Vatican has been silent on the possible passage of the law.


Posted by: James10 | March 10, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I am in total agreement with nosa1nt who posted this below:

"Rather than protesting the person giving a prayer there should be a protest that a prayer is even necessary. This is a legislative session not a church. Why are we mixing religion and politics?"
----------------------------------
In the legislative process, we are discussing secular (man's) law, not God's. All of the controversy would go away if Congress did away with prayer completely. The 1st Amendment calls for separation of church and state. IMHO, this is a violation of said amendment.

Posted by: louis10 | March 11, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I am in total agreement with nosa1nt who posted below:

"Rather than protesting the person giving a prayer there should be a protest that a prayer is even necessary. This is a legislative session not a church. Why are we mixing religion and politics?"
-------------------------------------------
The GA is working on secular (man's) law, not God's. Doing away with all prayers would solve this problem. IMHO, praying before the House of Delegates violates the separation of church and state clause of the 1st Amendment.

Posted by: louis10 | March 11, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Abdul-Malik has participated in advertising following the 2005 London bombing condemning terrorism in the name of Islam as a betrayal of the Koran.

In July 2005, he held a press conference condemning terrorism in the name of Islam and urging youth to stay away from groups like Al Qaeda.

While 2 9/11 hijackers as well as the Fort Hood shooter have worshiped there in the past, think of the thousands worshipping there who benefit the community.

Abdul-Malik indeed supported Ahmed Omar Abu Ali... the man convicted in 2005 of conspiring with Al Qaeda to kill President G.W. Bush. However, his support was in civil rights objections to the fact that Abu Ali was held in Saudi Arabia for 20 months with no charges against him, and no access to an attorney. When he was finally brought to the U.S. and prosecuted, he tried to show how torture coerced a confession to the conspiracy... but the judge rejected his arguments and allowed the confession to stand. That was the crux of the U.S. Attorney's case.

When a confession is allowed to stand, it's very difficult for a jury to do anything but convict.

The self-proclaimed "Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force" is nothing more than an extreme right-wing group selling jingoism to the uneducated and bigoted. There are things politically that Abdul-Malik says many people may not like... but there's no evidence this man exercises nothing but his 1st Amendment rights. And there's no evidence he advocates violence... in fact, evidence to the contrary... other than guilt by very loose association.

Posted by: TheTruthPlease | March 11, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

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