Accusations of Islamophobia connected to a White House event are flying, but this time they are not aimed at former President Donald Trump.
The storm around President Joe Biden’s White House involves Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah of Prospect Park, New Jersey, and the official White House commemoration of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday that marks the end of the month of Ramadan.
Khairullah said that he had been invited to Monday’s White House event, but as he was nearing the White House, he was told that the Secret Service could not grant him a security clearance and that he could not attend, according to Axios.
This action “reeks of #Islamophobia by certain federal agencies,” Khairullah posted on his Facebook page.
“The SECRET WATCHLIST strikes again,” he wrote.
New Jersey’s longest-serving Muslim mayor expressed shock after being denied entry to the White House’s celebration marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.https://t.co/33BweKKEz5
— Axios (@axios) May 2, 2023
Khairullah told Axios that he believes he is a victim of racial profiling, saying that someone with the same name appeared on a terror watch list.
“I have been experiencing travel difficulties since 2019, which I thought were resolved two years ago, only to find out today that I’m still on some type of government list,” Khairullah said.
“To be denied entry in such a way … and two days prior, I was with the governor of my state, in the governor’s mansion. It just baffles me,” he said, adding that he has heard nothing from the White House since the incident.
Secret Service representative Anthony Guglielmi said while “we regret any inconvenience this may have caused, the mayor was not allowed to enter the White House complex this evening.”
The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations lashed out at the incident, according to a release on CAIR’s website.
“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.
Maksut blamed a secret list for the incident.
“Today, in an affront to the Muslim community and the American public at large, and in what could be perceived as a continued use of the secret watchlist, the Secret Service denied Mayor Khairullah entry, on the basis that he was not cleared by security,” he said.
“This incident lacks transparency and reeks of government overreach. 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.”
Maksut said the incident is bigger than one person.
“If these such incidents are happening to high-profile and well-respected American-Muslim figures like Mayor Khairullah, this then begs the question: What is happening to Muslims who do not have the access and visibility that the mayor has?”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.