One of the men leading an effort to bring some 50,000 Muslims to Capitol Hill on Friday for a “day of Islamic unity” is a lawyer who’s defended a number of men charged with al-Qaeda-related offenses, including one suspect in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Front Page Magazine reports. Hassen Abdellah, however, says he wants a peaceful, non-political event.
“Most of the time, when Muslims go to Washington, they go there to protest some type of event,” Abdellah, whose New Jersey mosque applied for the permit for the event, tells the New American. “This is not a protest. Never has the Islamic community prayed on Capitol Hill for the soul of America. We’re Americans. We need to change the face of Islam so people don’t feel every Muslim believes America is ‘the great Satan,’ because we love America.”