CAIR-NJ Condemns Secret Service for Baselessly Banning NJ’s Longest Serving Muslim Mayor from White House Eid Event
(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 5/1/2023) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today condemned the United States Secret Service’s perceived profiling of New Jersey’s longest-serving Muslim mayor, Mohamed T. Khairullah of Prospect Park, and the revocation of his invitation to the White House Eid celebration.
Khairullah, who was sworn into his fifth consecutive mayoral term in January, had helped the New Jersey Democratic Party compile names of local Muslim leadership to invite to the White House’s annual Eid celebration.
Moments before he was set to arrive at the White House for the annual Eid celebration, he received a call stating that because he had not been cleared for entry, his invitation to the White House Eid celebration was effectively revoked.
In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, said:
“That a well-respected Muslim leader would effectively be disinvited from the White House Eid celebration, just hours ahead of time, is wholly unacceptable and insulting.
“Only months ago, Khairullah was praised by elected officials across the state as one of the longest serving Muslim mayors in the country, and the longest in New Jersey. Today, in an affront to the Muslim community and the American public at large, and in what could be perceived as a continued use of the secret watchlist, the Secret Service denied Mayor Khairullah entry, on the basis that he was not cleared by security.
“This incident lacks transparency and reeks of government overreach. We call on the White House to override the Secret Service and reinstate the mayor’s invitation, disband the secret watchlist, and issue an apology to the Mayor. If these such incidents are happening to high-profile and well-respected American-Muslim figures like Mayor Khairullah, this then begs the question: what is happening to Muslims who do not have the access and visibility that the mayor has?”
Maksut also noted that Mayor Khairullah was previously stopped and interrogated at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York for three hours and questioned about whether he knew any terrorists. He was also forced to hand over his phone.
This past weekend, Mayor Khairullah was among New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s distinguished guests at the governor’s mansion in Princeton, New Jersey.
CAIR has previously today called on the Biden administration to suspend the FBI’s dissemination of two of their secret lists, which leaked copies show to be “almost entirely lists of Arabic and Muslim names.”
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, firstname.lastname@example.org, 551-221-5592.