Two Muslim leaders said Thursday they are angry they were not included in Wednesday night’s 9/11 memorial service in Eisenhower Park — billed as the largest 9/11 event in Nassau County.
Habeeb Ahmed, chairman of the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury, the largest mosque in Nassau, said he was taken aback when the memorial’s program featured prominent Christian and Jewish leaders — but no Muslims.
“Many Muslims also died on 9/11,” Ahmed said. (23 actually Ahmed), “On top of that, some right-wing extremists blame Muslims for the event of 9/11; hence the absence of any Muslim speakers or prayers could be misconstrued as showing that the Muslims of Long Island could have been involved in the terrorist attacks.”
The event was organized by Nassau County. Thursday a spokeswoman for County Executive Edward Mangano, Katie Grilli-Robles, said: “The 9/11 ceremony was open to all county residents. We have not received any complaints. We will not dignify this with a response.”
Ahmed, who attended the event, said he recognizes the event was open to Muslims, but that his concern was their absence in the official program and on the stage.
Mohammed Saleh, chairman of the Long Island Muslim Society, a mosque in East Meadow, said he was also disappointed Muslims were not included in the event’s program. “We have been neglected. We have been left alone,” he said, adding, “Almost every day I remember 9/11.”
At the event, Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre gave an opening prayer and made some brief comments, while a prominent Jewish leader, Rabbi Marc Gellman of Temple Beth Torah in Melville, led the closing prayer.