Problems at 1600 Pennsylvania
Muslim mayor claims racial profiling barred him from Islamic event at White House
Mohamed Khairullah, the mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, was turned away from a White House event celebrating an Islamic holiday, and says he believes it was due to racial profiling.
Khairullah, the longest-serving Muslim mayor in New Jersey, told The North Jersey Record he received a phone call from the U.S. Secret Service informing him he would not be allowed into the White House, just 30 minutes prior to the festivities. The event, which was hosted Monday by President Biden, celebrated the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.
A Secret Service spokesperson confirmed the mayor's account of the events in a statement, per the Record, saying Khairullah "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."
However, Khairullah told the Record he believes he was racially profiled because he was Muslim, despite the fact that the event was celebrating an Islamic holiday. "I think right now my crime is my name," he said, and also claimed his security clearance had been denied because he was wrongly placed on a "government watch list."
Khairullah, who has served as Prospect Park mayor for over 17 years, said during a press conference on Tuesday, per Politico, that "our crimes are our names, ethnicities, and religion...I call on President Biden to correct the injustices of the previous administrations by disbanding this illegal list and correcting ill-advised and racist policies."
This is not the first time that Khairullah claims to have been racially profiled, telling CNN he was stopped at JFK International Airport in 2019 while returning from a trip to Turkey and asked if he had any terrorist affiliations.