After a New Jersey mosque used its NYPD surveillance controversy to recruit new members through a newspaper ad, Imam Mustafa El-Amin of Masjid Ibrahim in Newark says that all are welcome for Friday's prayer service.
"Our doors are open," El-Amin told WCBS 880â²s Levon Putney, "and we have nothing to hide."
El-Amin says that his mosque is as American as apple pie, and says that he has no problem with the NYPD or any police surveillance, especially post-September 11th.
"But when you're doing it in a secret way," El-Amin explained, "then it suggests a lack of trust."
So in an effort to gain people's trust, the mosque's leader put out an ad in the Star-Ledger, inviting folks to read the Quran and come by and visit the mosque.
"We are about serving the community, and we are people of faith as American citizens," he concluded.
El-Amin says that his people not only don't support terrorists, but "condemn terrorism 100 percent."
Despite the recent revealing of the fact that the mosque was under NYPD surveillance, attendance at the mosque has not declined, El-Amin said. The ad was created to turn the publicity created by the exposure into a "positive opportunity" and emphasize the mosque's values and no tolerance stance to terrorism.
"You have to be innovative, when something concerns you or your community," El-Amin said in the article. "It's not purely advertising; it's to state unequivocally that we have nothing to hide."
El-Amin is one of several Muslim leaders who met with New Jersey's attorney general Jeffrey Chiesa following the media attention regarding the secret surveillance of mosques in New Jersey and New York up until 2009 and requested an investigation.
Anastasia Millicker, "Newark mosque makes 'open door' policy following NYPD surveillance" Newsroom New Jersey April 7, 2012
"Muslim Leader Urges All To Visit Newark Mosque, Says It''s As American As Apple Pie' " CBS News April 6, 2012
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today