A lawyer with a history of representing Islamic terrorists, including men connected to the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, is one of the chief organizers of a large Muslim prayer service intended as a show of American patriotism Friday at the Capitol.
Hassen Abdellah is president of Dar-ul-Islam, the mosque in Elizabeth, N.J., that is organizing the event. He said the mosque began organizing the gathering, called "Jummah Prayer on Capitol Hill: A Day of Islamic Unity," several months ago to convey to Muslims around the world the freedoms enjoyed by their American confreres.
The event has inspired enough rumors to warrant an entry on factcheck.org and a competing event on Friday at the Rayburn House Office Building sponsored by a group called Stop Islamization of America.
Several Islamic groups have distanced themselves from the event. The Islamic Society of America (ISNA) and the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) say they will not be participating. Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of Dar Al Hijrah in Falls Church, the area's largest mosque, said he is attending but there will be no representatives from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Sterling, one of the region's largest mosques.