Prayer Breakfast Snub Brings Muslim Leader into the News

May 10, 2004

Source: The Oregonian

On May 10, 2004 The Oregonian reported, "The question took Shahriar Ahmed by surprise. The president of Bilal Mosque in Beaverton was looking for an elevator at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center when a security guard approached him: 'Aren't you the guy who was disinvited from the prayer breakfast?' A week earlier, organizers of the Mayors' Prayer Breakfast of Washington County had pulled Ahmed from the program because he is Muslim. Most mayors bowed out of the May 5 breakfast, which was subsequently canceled. But the incident upset many. 'Tears came to his eyes,' Ahmed remembers. 'He shook my hand and said, 'I am so sorry.' ' And then the 5-foot Ahmed -- in his brown, knee-length kurta shirt -- and the security guard shared a hug. The prayer-breakfast snub signaled for Ahmed -- a passionate and media-friendly spokesman for local Muslims since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks -- a return to the news."