The prayer event is real and
will take place on the steps of the US Capitol Building in Washington DC
on September 25, 2009. The event is being called Jummah
Prayer on Capitol Hill. The official website
According to a
September 14, 2009
World Bulletin article, Organizers have considered
the Jummah Prayer on Capital Hill as a Day of Islamic Unity."
The main organizer, Hassen Abdellah, expects 50,000 people of all faiths to be in attendance
and told reporters that the event will solely consist of prayer,
readings from the Koran and will not include political speeches or
The eRumor makes it
appear that this approval of a Muslim prayer event on the Capitol steps
is something favorable to Muslims that would not be granted to
Christians. Use of the US Capitol
for religious events is not uncommon and a variety of events at the Capitol Steps
are allowed as long as the
permit applications are submitted and the guidelines are strictly followed.
Former Speaker of the
House, Newt Gingrich, in his book "Rediscovering God in America"
said that Thomas Jefferson, author of the famous "the wall of separation
of Church and State," was the first U.S. President to allow the
public use of the Capitol building religiously---and it was for church
services. Gingrich also wrote that In 1952 Congress issued a
joint resolution calling for a prayer service on the Capitol steps which was
led in the pouring rain by Rev. Billy Graham. The event was
attended by thousands of people which prompted the 1953 construction of
a Congressional Chapel on the federal premises which today is only open
to members of Congress and invited guests.
events at the Capitol steps include the 58th annual National Day of
Prayer observance on May 7, 2009 which included a Bible reading
marathon. 90 continuous hours of reading from the book of Genesis to the
book of Revelation has taken place on the Capitol steps every year since
1979. The Promise Keeper Organization of Christian Men also have
met at the Capitol steps to pray.
President Obama has
taken a lot of hits for a statement he made in his 2009 trip to Turkey.
Critics of the president have said that he declared the United States
“no longer a Christian nation” and that he said that the U.S. was a
His exact remark was, “I’ve said before that one of the great strengths
of the United States is…that although we have a very large Christian
population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish
nation or a Muslim nation we consider ourselves a nation of citizens.”
Critics of the president considered his remarks a rejection of the
long-held belief that America is a Christian nation. Supporters pointed
out that he wasn’t discounting Christianity or elevating Islam. He was
emphasizing the unity of a country of diverse citizens with diverse
The president’s statement echoed his belief when Obama was an Illinois
State Senator he was the keynote speaker at the "Building a Covenant for
A New America" conference sponsored by a group called the "Call to
Renewal." He told attendees that the United States is no longer a
Christian nation but a nation of citizens with different beliefs.
President Obama also said this on a 2009 trip to Cairo, Egypt
Islamic Prayer Day
at the White House-Fiction!
Another version of
this eRumor began circulating in December of 2009 saying that the
Islamic Day of Prayer was at the White House. It also included a picture of the President
removing his shoes in apparent preparation for prayer. This
Islamic prayer gathering, as we reported above, did not take place at
the White House and the picture had nothing to do with that event.
The photo was taken when President Obama toured a mosque in Turkey
during his April 2009 tour.
Whitehouse photo available
There are several
eRumors about President Obama being a Muslim and we have findings posted
at this link: