A mosque in Elizabeth, Dar-ul-Islam, is spearheading a national prayer gathering next month in Washington, D.C., that organizers are billing as the first event of its kind -- organized prayer for tens of thousands of Muslims outside the U.S. Capitol building.
The event will not include political speeches or placards, just prayer, said Hassen Abdellah, president of Dar-ul-Islam and a main organizer of the event, which is scheduled for Sept. 25.
"Most of the time, when Muslims go to Washington, D.C., they go there to protest some type of event," Abdellah said. "This is not a protest. Never has the Islamic community prayed on Capitol Hill for the soul of America. We're Americans. We need to change the face of Islam so people don't feel every Muslim believes America is "the great Satan,' because we love America."