Courtesy photo

The Jumu’ah prayer service at Masjid Muhammad, “The Nation’s Mosque,” was disrupted Friday after Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers arrived on the scene and told officials that the mosque was the target of a bomb threat.

MPD officers arrived at Masjid Muhammad at about 1:15 p.m. Friday during the congregational prayer service and, out of caution, the service was canceled and the building evacuated.

Imam Talib Shareef, leader of the historic mosque, said MPD officers searched the entire building and upon completion of a sweep the building was reopened and people returned to the building and resumed prayers.

Imam Shareef said Commander James M. Boteler Jr, of MPD’s 3rd District, told him that the incident was recorded as a “felony offense hate crime.”

“This type of incident was a first for our house of worship. It was also witnessed by our worldwide live-streaming audience,” Imam Shareef said adding. “We are grateful to Almighty G-d, Allah, there was no bomb, and we applaud the professionalism and timeliness of our police department as well as our Community’s Public Safety Team.”

“Many of our members remain shaken from the incident, which to be expected, caused a scare among the many fellow citizens, innocent men, women, elderly, and children that were present.”

Shareef said the incident took place during a visit by a diverse group of appointed and elected officials from across the nation visiting as part of a program to learn more about our nation’s faith communities.

Thomas Bowen, director of the Mayor’s Office of Religious Affairs, said “We were saddened to hear about the recent threat and the need to evacuate during an important day of the week and that is Jumu’ah.”

“Imam Talib Shareef is part of the Mayor’s interfaith council and we will continue to support Masjid Muhammad in all that they do,” Bowen added.

During the incident, a neighbor from across the street came over and helped to evacuate elderly members, and made bottled water and use of their restroom available.

“We greatly appreciate the numerous calls, texts, and emails we’ve received from neighbors, faith communities, and our partners locally and across the nation extending their regards, thoughts, and concerns for our well-being,” Shareef said.

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the...

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1 Comment

  1. Allah (Subhanahu Wa ta’ala) is Ubiquitous, All-Wise. Those elements and factions that threaten or harm believers of the book, Islam,Christianity, Judaism, etc, will on the on the day of judgements, suffer a painful punishment.

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