New Jersey federal lawmakers want answers to why Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah’s invitation to the White House Eid al-Fitr celebration was revoked moments before he was to arrive.
At a press conference, Khairullah said he received a call from the White House Social Office that the mayor had not been cleared for entry and his invitation had to be rescinded.
According to Khairullah and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a American Muslim civil right organization, the reason he was denied access is due to the use of an U.S. government watch list, which includes more than a million names, many of which are Muslim or Muslim-sounding. CAIR’s New Jersey chapter said their national organization has access to the list, which includes Khairullah’s name and date of birth.
“At this point, our crimes are our names, ethnicities, and religion,” said Khairullah at a press conference May 2. “I call on President Biden to correct the injustices of the previous administrations by disbanding this illegal list and correcting ill-advised and racist policies.”
Khairullah detailed that he has repeatedly faced questioning while traveling since 2019, including being held for three hours and having his phone seized when returning to JFK Airport from Turkey that year and detained and questioned at the Canadian border in a glass-walled area in 2021.
Secret Service Statement
The U.S. Secret Service confirmed that Khairullah, the longest-serving Muslim mayor in New Jersey, was not allowed to enter the White House for the event moments before he was set to arrive.
“While we regret any inconvenience this may have caused, the mayor was not allowed to enter the White House complex this evening,” Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the United States Secret Service. “Unfortunately we are not able to comment further on the specific protective means and methods used to conduct our security operations at the White House,”
Supporting Khairullah are Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. along with Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker. The North Jersey lawmakers have formally asked for an explanation Secret Service and the Biden Administration for an explanation of entry denial for the reception marking an end to Ramadan.
Congressman Seek Answers
The members of Congress want to be provided in a format and classification level that facilitates a detailed explanation of what occurred and why. We also urge you to provide Mayor Khairullah with the substantive reasons he was denied admission, and urge you to initiate a review of Mayor Khairullah’s status so that in the future he may be able to attend events and represent his constituents at the People’s House.”
Booker detailed that since immigrating to the United States over thirty years ago Khairullah has contributed to his community by being a volunteer fireman, becoming a U.S. citizen, and now serving his fifth consecutive term as mayor.
“It’s hard to think of someone more committed to elevating our country’s highest ideals than Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah,” said Booker. “That’s why I was so profoundly disappointed that Mayor Khairullah —whose effective leadership and passion for public service has made him beloved in New Jersey—would be rejected from entering one of our nation’s more important civic spaces: our White House.”
Booker noted the timing and the manner in which the invitation was revoked was “insulting” to Khairullah and his community.
“What makes matters worse and all the more painful was that his invitation was revoked moments before he was set to attend the White House Eid al-Fitr celebration,” he stated. “To travel to Washington, away from the community he so diligently serves, only to be denied entry in this way adds insult to injury.”
“I believe excluding him was the wrong decision. The people of Prospect Park, the citizens of New Jersey, the New Jersey Muslim community, and Mayor Khairullah deserve an explanation as to how and why this happened and an apology. I also believe that Mayor Khairullah deserves another opportunity to visit the White House.”
Well; This is certainly no laughing matter!! However, Haha, but the Prospect Park Mayor must realize that this will require another Law with lengthy house approvals!! Mr. Mayor, if’n there be any comfort in knowing that you are not the only one whom had been maltreated & discriminated against by Gov’ts & private agencies!! AH; Just Laugh it off!! SEE; “It don’t mean nothing” & like, “Water off a duck’s back”!!//