Feeling besieged by suspicion and hostility since three of its members were named in a plot to attack Fort Dix, a southern New Jersey mosque is throwing its doors open to the public on Friday, inviting U.S. congressmen, the FBI – anyone who wants to learn more about Islam.

The Islamic Center of South Jersey will hold what it calls an “emergency town-hall meeting” Friday night to respond to negative publicity since the arrest of six Muslim men charged with plotting to kill soldiers at the military installation.

Dritan “Anthony” Duka, 28, and his brothers Shain, 26, and Eljvir, 23, all worshipped regularly at the mosque, according to Ismail Badat, a trustee at the Islamic Center. Another suspect, 22-year-old Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, prayed there a few times, Badat said.

The situation has been a source of worry for Muslims who attend the mosque, located in a former church building in this blue-collar Delaware River town.

“It has been very difficult,” said Naseem Badat, Ismail Badat’s wife. “I go online and read all the blogs, and very few of them have anything positive to say about us. Almost everything is very negative. They are saying some really nasty things about us.”


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