Ml Muhammad Bham
firstname.lastname@example.org | 2 minute read | 5 May 2023 | 3:30pm CAT
The White House organized a belated celebration for Eid al-Fitar earlier this week and invited hundreds of prominent American Muslims. Then, it uninvited one of them: Mohamed Khairullah, the mayor of Prospect Park, N.J. He’s the longest serving Muslim mayor in this country, and he was given no explanation as to why.
Khairullah told NPR’s Leila Fadel on Morning Edition that he contacted the Council on American Islamic Relations shortly after he was disinvited to the event. The council informed him that he was on a “secret list,” which was leaked earlier this year.
“I was added to the list in 2019, which put things together in my mind because all my traveling difficulties started in 2019,” Khairullah said. “So it’s at this point, for some reason, I am on a secret list that the government is denying exists and it’s caused me and my family trouble.”
At a White House press briefing this week, when asked about Khairullah being uninvited from the event, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly deferred to the U.S. Secret Service.
For its part, the Secret Service put out a statement from spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi: “While we regret any inconvenience this may have caused, the mayor was not allowed to enter the White House complex this evening. Unfortunately we are not able to comment further on the specific protective means and methods used to conduct our security operations at the White House.”
The White House is also noting its ongoing efforts to counter Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination. On Tuesday administration officials held a listening session with Muslim community leaders, including the government affairs director of CAIR.
Extracted from NPR