An unprecedented Muslim prayer rally to take place on Capitol Hill Friday afternoon has Christian leaders responding with calls for prayer and fasting of their own.
Christian evangelist Lou Engle of TheCall has partnered with Shirley Dobson, chair of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and wife of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, to issue an urgent nationwide call for Christians to pray and fast on Sept. 25 – the day when up to 50,000 Muslims plan to pray in front of the Capitol building.
The leaders urge the Church in America to fast and pray that Muslims would be moved by the Holy Spirit, be convicted by the testimony of Christ, and be visited by Jesus in dreams like many Muslims who have come to Christ have experienced.
“There is a great spiritual conflict with a rising tide of Islamic boldness being manifested,” according to TheCall Web site. “We must pray that God would restrain the spiritual powers behind Islam and grant us the great awakening that we desperately need for America.”
At 1 p.m. Friday on the west side of the Capitol, tens of thousands of Muslims are expected to gather and pray. The event, called “Islam on Capitol Hill,” is organized by Hassen Abdellah, a lawyer who is president of the Dar-ul-Islam mosque in Elizabeth, N.J.
Abdellah has come under fire from some conservative Christians for his connection to suspected and convicted terrorists. The Muslim lawyer represented a terrorist convicted of manufacturing the bomb in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. His client is now serving time in the “supermax” prison in Colorado.
In another case, Abdellah represented a Baltimore cabdriver who pleaded guilty of attending a jihad terrorist training camp in Pakistan and aiding a terrorist group.
But the Muslim lawyer defended his legal record, saying that he has also put many “bad people” in jail, according to The Washington Post. Moreover, he said the event will not include any political message.
"This is just about prayer," Abdellah told FOXNews.com. "The purpose is Islamic unity, so we can display the beauty of Islam. We believe the groupsare going to be people who love and respect America, and we want to let America know that we're here and that we support the country.
"I know it's difficult for people to believe it could be that simple."
But the Rev. Canon Julian Dobbs, leader of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America’s Church and Islam Project, warned in a statement this week that the rally is “part of a well-defined strategy to Islamize American society and replace the Bible with the Koran, the cross with the Islamic crescent and the church bells with the Athan (the Muslim call to prayer).”
Even some local Washington-area Muslim groups have decided to not join the controversial event. The All Dulles Area Muslim Society, one of the largest mosques in the D.C-area, told the Post that the congregation was busy with Ramadan and other activities to be involved in the prayer rally.
Similarly, the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association said it’s busy with its own midday prayer service and could not take part in the event.
For conservative Christians, they are keeping busy with plans for a national teleconference Friday night at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins will join Engle, Dobson, and other Christian leaders in the call.
On the Web: www.thecall.com