Update: Participants Continue to Pull Out of Event After Mayor Disinvited

April 27, 2004

Source: The Oregonian


On April 27, 2004 The Oregonian reported, "Few if any of the county's mayors will attend the May 5 Mayors' Prayer Breakfast of Washington County, at least in part because event organizers decided last week to bar participation by a Muslim leader.   Mayors and the county's top elected official on Monday either said they had other commitments the day of the breakfast or were considering following Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake's lead in skipping the event. The Beaverton-Tigard Chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship and Concerned Citizens steering committee for the breakfast voted to disinvite Shahriar Ahmed, president of the Bilal Mosque Association in Beaverton, from sitting on the breakfast meeting dais and giving the breakfast's closing prayer. As the traditional host mayor of the breakfast, Drake had invited Ahmed to take part on the breakfast meeting's dais, along with a rabbi. Peter Reding, the fellowship's communications director, said Muslims pray to Allah rather than God and contended they are not part of 'Judeo-Christian tradition.' Both suppositions figured into the steering committee's 7-1 vote to bar Ahmed from praying. The group said he could still attend and sit in the audience. Ahmed has said he will skip the event."