Washington, Nov 13 (ANI): A conservative advocacy group has urged the US Justice Department to investigate a weekly prayer session on Capitol Hill, after a media report claimed that Muslims with terrorist ties have been participating in the prayers since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The American Center for Law and Justice, founded by the Reverand Pat Robertson, issued the demand one day after FoxNews.com revealed that the American born al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was among the controversial figures who has attended the weekly Friday Jummah prayers hosted by the Congressional Muslims Staff Association (CMSA) during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.
The group reportedly held prayers informally for about eight years before gaining official status in 2006 under the sponsorship of Representative Keith Ellison, District of Minnesota, one of two Muslims currently serving in Congress. The second Muslim congressman, Representative Andre Carson, D-Ind., joined as co-sponsor after he was elected in 2008.
"It is unbelievable that the very terrorists who want to destroy America are permitted to meet in a congressionally sanctioned setting on Capitol Hill. This raises a host of significant questions - including concerns about national security," Fox News quoted Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of American Center for Law and Justice, as saying.
"We're demanding that the Department of Justice conduct an investigation and take immediate action to halt what appears to be a pattern of inviting Islamic extremists with ties to terrorism to participate in these events," he added.
The Justice Department however has not replied so far.
Although there appears to be no public record of the people the Congressional Muslims Staff Association has invited to Capitol Hill, FoxNews.com was able to glean a portrait of the Jummah prayer meetings through video footage, news reports, court records and social media posts, the report said.
According to sources, CMSA is comprised mostly of young Hill staffers who, for the most part, do not play a role in bringing in speakers. They claim that organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations have a heavy hand in selecting and bringing in outside guests, it added. (ANI)