OR Mayor and Rabbi Decline Invitation After Muslim 'Disinvited"

April 24, 2004

Source: The Oregonian


On April 24, 2004 The Oregonian reported, "Organizers of the annual Mayors' Prayer Breakfast of Washington County have voted to bar a local Muslim leader from offering a prayer at the event, leading Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake and other city officials to say they'll skip the May 5 event. 'It's just broken my heart,' Drake said Friday of the organizing group's decision this week to renege on an invitation for Shahriar Ahmed, president of the Bilal Mosque Association in Beaverton, to sit on the dais and give the concluding prayer as previously scheduled. 'I thought we had found openness and the ability to honor diversity,' said Drake, mayor since 1993. He explained that because of a controversy about the event's inclusiveness last year, he had invited Ahmed and Rabbi David Rosenberg of Portland's Congregation Shaarie Torah to help diversify the 19th annual prayer breakfast. Rosenberg said he also would not attend the breakfast. ' I don't want to see this kind of thing, where somebody's blackballed,' the rabbi said."