Yikes: White House Disinvited Muslim Mayor From Reception, He Calls It 'Profiling'

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

I reported earlier on some of the embarrassing things that Joe Biden said at the Eid al-Fitr reception at the White House on Monday night to mark the end of Ramadan.

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Biden called Rep. Ilhan Omar a “Congressman” and then spoke about her looks calling her “beautiful.” He also called the Quran, the “Quorum.” Then after he recognized various Muslim officials in the audience at the event, someone let him know that he’d left out someone — a Muslim federal judge in the audience. Biden recognized him but then said, “Hush up, boy” to the person who had brought that to his attention. That was bad enough, but then the White House tried to cover up some of that folly by not reflecting what Biden said in the transcript, they wrote “Congresswoman” and “Quoran” with no acknowledgment of what he said, despite the transcript being the official record.

It gets worse than all that. It turns out that there was another person who was supposed to be at that event, the Muslim mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey. Mayor Mohamed Khairullah was driving to D.C. just about a half hour before the event, when, unbelievably, he got a call from the White House that he was disinvited. Why? They told him the Secret Service wouldn’t clear him for the event but they wouldn’t tell him why.

Khairullah has been a Democratic mayor for over 17 years. He said a Democratic party staffer had even asked him to help compile a list of Muslim leaders in New Jersey to invite to the reception. Then they disinvite him. The Secret Service confirmed the story but wouldn’t explain why they put the bee on him.

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A United States Secret Service spokesman confirmed in a statement Monday night that the mayor was not permitted to attend.

“While we regret any inconvenience this may have caused, the mayor was not allowed to enter the White House complex this evening,” said Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the U.S. Secret Service. “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.”

Khairullah says he thinks that somehow he got put on the wide trawling net of the “no-fly” list that has encompassed a lot of people and that may explain what’s going on.

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The problem with the “no-fly” list is that you can get on them for all kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with you being a terrorist — places you might have flown to and/or people you may have met, among other things. He thinks the trouble started when he flew to Turkey and he thinks it stems from the FBI.

In Syria that kind of stuff happens,” said Khairullah. “People write a report about someone and they get detained or harassed or sometimes disappear. Luckily, I’m not disappearing, but the fact is, there is a secret list I can’t clear my name from and it still haunts me and follows me where I go. I can’t even enter the People’s House and meet with my president. It’s shameful.”

He’s right, if there’s a problem, explain it and address it, or get him off the list. The problem is that there’s no way of challenging the list and as we see with the Secret Service response, they wouldn’t even acknowledge that’s the problem here, if that’s what it is.

The mayor said it “reeks of Islamophobia by certain federal agencies“. “I don’t think the highest office in the United States should be down with such profiling,” the mayor said.

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But this shows something else as well — the complete incompetence of the White House and maybe the Secret Service. You should be assessing guests before they are invited, not after. If you thought there was a problem, he shouldn’t have been invited. But not only did they invite him, they asked him for help on who else to invite. What happened to those people? They seemingly got to go since we didn’t hear further about them. Yet now they want to tell him he’s not worthy? They’re completely ridiculous.

Now the White House isn’t talking. They throw such events hoping for good PR, but they hardly could have handled it in a worse fashion than this.

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