Muslim Leaders To Meet Colorado, Federal Officials on Anthem Prank
Mar. 22, 1996
DENVER (AP) _ Muslim leaders were to meet with state and federal officials today to discuss ways in which the religious community can be protected from future harassment following a prank by three disc jockeys.
The KBPI radio personalities barged into a mosque with brass instruments Tuesday and played the national anthem loudly as two Muslims drank coffee following an early morning prayer service.
One of the intruders wore a mock turban and a Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf T-shirt.
Abdul-Rauf, a Muslim and Denver Nuggets star, created a national controversy after refusing to stand during the national anthem before NBA games.
Area Christian and Jewish leaders joined Muslim officials in calling for criminal charges against KBPI disc jockeys Joey Teehan, Dean Myers and Roger Beaty.
Arapahoe County law enforcement officials have called in a special prosecutor to determine whether to file charges.
The Federal Communications Commission cannot take action against the radio station because ``we can't come up with any violation. There are free-speech sanctions,'' an agency spokesman in Washington, D.C., said.
According to the police report, the radio station employees tried to put headsets on the two Muslims, Ahmad Fahim Quraishi and Bourouba Hocine, to force them into a live interview, then laughed at them because of the way they spoke English.
The incident drew a swift and angry response from a coalition of religious leaders who called the prank a defilement of a place of worship.
Mohamed Jodeh, president of the Muslim Society, said Muslims are taught to respect each other and other groups.
``We are not some strange religion that came from nowhere. We believe in having good relations with our neighbors,'' he said, adding that the mosque would be locked from now on, except during prayer time.
Groups that came out in support of Muslims included the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council, the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, and the Anti-Discrimination Committee.