The US Secret Service barred a Muslim mayor from joining President Joe Biden at an annual White House event on Monday commemorating Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
In a release, the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) condemned “the Secret Service’s perceived profiling of New Jersey’s longest-serving Muslim mayor, Mohamed T. Khairullah of Prospect Park, and the revocation of his invitation to the White House Eid celebration.”
According to CAIR-NJ, Khairullah was informed by the White House just before he was supposed to attend the celebration that he had not been authorized to enter by the Secret Service
“That a well-respected Muslim leader would effectively be disinvited from the White House Eid celebration, just hours ahead of time, is wholly unacceptable and insulting,” CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said in a statement.
Maksut criticized the lack of transparency and excessive government intervention surrounding the incident.
“We call on the White House to override the Secret Service and reinstate the mayor’s invitation, disband the secret watchlist, and issue an apology to the Mayor,” said Maksut.
According to The Washington Post, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed that Khairullah was denied entry to the White House premises.
“While we regret any inconvenience this may have caused, the mayor was not allowed to enter the White House complex this evening,” Guglielmi said to the Post in a statement. “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,” he added.
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