Muslim Prospect Park mayor says he was barred from entering the White House
New Jersey’s longest-serving Muslim mayor says that he was barred from entering the White House on Monday for an Eid al-Fitr celebration with President Joe Biden.
Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah says that officials at the White House told him that the United States Secret Service decided that he could not enter.
"I guess I'm back to being accused of something," the mayor told News 12 New Jersey, referencing a 2019 incident where he was detained at JFK International Airport.
The Syrian American mayor traveled to Syria in 2015 to aid refugees and to the Middle East last year with no issue, he says.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is condemning the incident.
"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 [Mayor Khairullah],” a spokesperson for CAIR wrote in a statement.
A spokesperson for the Secret Service wrote in a statement, "While we regret any inconvenience this may have caused, the mayor was not allowed to enter the White House complex this evening. 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."
News 12 has reached out Gov. Phil Murphy’s office for statements about this incident and is waiting to hear back.