Muslim Religious Leaders To Protest City Council's Decision To Call Off Prayer
By Jenna Carlesso
September 12, 2010
The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will hold a prayer vigil Monday on the steps of city hall to protest the city council's decision to call off its pre-meeting prayer, which was to be an Islamic invocation.
Mongi Dhaouadi, executive director of the chapter, said he received a call Friday from City Council President rJo Winch saying that there would be no prayer, but that the council would instead hold an "interfaith moment of silence." Monday's city council meeting falls two days after the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The council received an outpouring of calls and e-mails from angry residents after announcing last week that it had invited an imam to give the opening prayer.
Dhaouadi said the panel's decision to call off the invocation gives off the impression that Muslims in Connecticut were connected to the Sept. 11 attacks.
At Monday's vigil, Kashif Abdul-Karim, resident imam for the Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford, will "offer a prayer in support of mutual understanding," according to a press release sent by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Community leaders of other faiths will also offer messages of support.
The city council will be asked to allow Abdul-Karim to offer a prayer at the panel's next meeting on Sept. 27, the release states.
The prayer vigil will begin at 6:30 p.m., a half-hour before the start of the city council meeting.