State Department Muslim rep attends opening and praises allah on U.S. taxpayer’s dime.
“The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers…” ~ Poem that landed Turkish president Erdogan in jail
via the Muslim Brotherhood’s U.S. newspaper – IMAAM Center Realizes 20 Year Old Dream.
For hundreds of Indonesian-American families and Maryland Muslims, “grand opening” couldn’t have more meaning than it did on Friday, September 26, 2014.
After two decades, the dream of establishing a masjid and community center in Maryland finally became a reality, and the presidential benefactor who facilitated a three million dollar donation to purchase a church and convert it to a masjid came with a delegation to witness the opening of the Indonesian Muslim Association in America (IMAAM) in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The remodeled church includes a large prayer area and smaller assembly rooms. The grand opening ceremony included juma’ prayer led by founding IMAAM member Firdaus Kadir. President Yudhoyono led his delegation in ‘Asr prayer immediately afterward; the group traveled overnight from New York where President Yudhoyono was attending the United Nations gathering of world leaders.
IMAAM invited representatives from area Muslim organizations. Some area leaders and activists in attendance included All Dulles Area Muslims Association (ADAMS) President Syed Moktadir, ADAMS Board of Trustees Chairman Rizwan Jaka, Dr. Iqbal Yunus from the Fairfax Institute, Imam of the Islamic Society of the Washington Area (ISWA) Faizul Khan, and Sister Asma Hanif, director of the Muslimat An-Nisaa women’s shelter. Numerous diplomats from Muslim countries as well as local interfaith leaders also attended.
As is typical with a visit from a head of state, the invitation only event had tight security which included a large presence from the Montgomery County Police Department as well as federal agents. The ceremony began about an hour before juma’ prayer with lunch served to all guests. A live translation was available to guests via wireless headsets.
After a recitation from the Qur’an, IMAAM President Arif Mustofa thanked Allah and President Yudhoyono for allowing the organization to reach this day. He said the strategic location of the new center – close to Washington DC and Northern Virginia and to the metro system – would allow Muslims and guests from around the region to participate in the activities at IMAAM. “The doors of goodness will be wide open to those who want peace,” said Mustofa.
US Department of State’s Special Representative to Muslim Communities Shaarik Zafar spoke next, congratulating the IMAAM community on the realization of their dream. “The Muslim community is an integral part of America. What can we do to make an impact? Engagement,” said Zafar. He also took the opportunity to comment on the Indonesian President’s recent speech regarding how to deal with the threat of terrorism and extremism. “We fully agree with your speech about using soft power to confront extremist groups like ISIL,” said Zafar, adding that stopping the flow of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq was critical.
President Yudhoyono’s address began with praising and thanking Allah for this day, and sending salutations on the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), his companions, and the Muslim ummah.
The same ummah ISIS preaches too.
Baltimore is becoming ground zero for foreign purchased mega mosques.
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