Federal agents desecrated a mosque when they detained an
imam during a raid two weeks ago, leaders of local mosques said Friday.
The 150 federal agents defiled the Ansaar Allah Islamic Society when they
entered the mosque with weapons drawn and dogs, said Isa Abdulmateen of the
Majlis Ash-Shura of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, an umbrella group
of local mosques.
"They defiled our house of worship on this bogus pretense of terrorism,"
About 100 people protested the raid outside the Philadelphia federal
building, many shouting "Allahu Akbar!" meaning "God is great" in Arabic.
Protesters waved signs reading "Stop state terrorism of Muslims" and
"Mosques are the house of Allah, not dogs..."
Local imams said the raid was meant to intimidate and antagonize Muslims,
and federal officials should have handled the situation more sensitively.
"It is a disrespect to Muslims all over America that you (federal agents)
would bring your dogs into our house of worship - and without taking your
shoes off," Imam Shahdeed Baiian said.
Internal Revenue Service agents searched the mosque and an adjacent home in
the city's Bridesburg section, plus a third home in Northeast Philadelphia
on May 27. No one was arrested on criminal charges, but immigration
authorities detained Egyptian cleric Mohamed Ghorab, the imam of the small