If the headline sounds like the opening to an offensive joke, well… it sorta is. Andrew at NW Progressive writes about Clark County’s Annual Mayor’s and Community Leaders Prayer Breakfast and how the organizers, the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International was forced to cancel a similar event last year in Beaverton OR:
Organizers canceled a planned prayer breakfast Tuesday after learning that most of Washington County’s mayors and one of two main speakers wouldn’t attend the May 5 event because a Muslim leader was excluded from participating.
Uniting the community’s pastoral, political and business people in prayer had been the purpose of the Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast of Washington County, he said. Without the host — Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake — and other mayors, he said, that couldn’t happen.
Shahriar Ahmed, president of the Bilal Mosque Association in Beaverton, along with Rabbi David Rosenberg of Portland, had been invited to the otherwise Christian breakfast at Drake’s request.
Ahmed had been scheduled to give the breakfast’s closing prayer from the dais before the fellowship informed him he couldn’t.
A fellowship spokesman, Peter Reding, had said the invitation was withdrawn by the steering committee because Muslims pray to a God they call Allah and they aren’t part of the fellowship’s “Judeo-Christian tradition.”
Ah yes… the Judeo-Christian tradition of excluding people of other faiths. And oh yeah… women too.
Andrew sums up the issue quite nicely:
The problem here is that this group is trying to hold an event with mayors participating as mayors – not as private citizens. It’s a “mayor’s prayer breakfast”, essentially. A prayer breakfast that is for “Christians” (certain types of “Christians”) only.
Hmm. I’ve got nothing against prayer. (Or breakfast, for that matter.) But if I were one of these mayors I’d think twice about attending this exclusionary event. Some blogger might get ahold of the list of attendees and publish it.