Imam Talib Shareef of the historic Masjid Muhammad, The Nation’s Mosque issued the following in response to the recent bomb threat.

On Friday, Aug 18, 2023, at approximately 1:15pm, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington, DC, arrived at Masjid Muhammad, The Nation’s Mosque resulting in an interruption of our Friday (Jumu’ah) Congregational Prayer Service to alert us of a received bomb threat targeting our mosque. As such, in accordance with the officer’s instructions and out of an abundance of caution, our Friday Prayer service was suspended, and the congregants were evacuated without incident. After the congregation exited and was at a safe distance outside the established perimeter, MPD completed a sweep of the mosque using their bomb detection resources with negative results. They announced the “all clear” about an hour and a half after the evacuation and we re-entered the mosque to complete our precious Friday Prayer. This type of incident was a first for our house of worship. It was also witnessed by our worldwide live-streaming audience. 

We are grateful to Almighty G-d, Allah, there was no bomb, and we applaud the professionalism and timeliness of our police department as well as our Community’s Public Safety Team. Nevertheless, herein is yet another senseless act and crime driven by hate. “We recorded this as a felony offense hate crime”, states Commander James M. Boteler Jr, of MPD’s 3rd District. Many of our members remain shaken from the incident, in which to be expected, caused a scare among the many fellow citizens, innocent men, women, elderly, and children that were present. Additionally, as is normal for our historic mosque, we had a diverse group of appointed and elected officials from across the nation visiting as part of a program to learn more about our nation’s faith communities, and several of them expressed it was there first time in a mosque. They were all among the evacuees. Also, one of our Christian Pastors joined us (again) for service, he was also among those evacuated.

The incident was designed to disrupt our service and frighten the congregation’s members and guests and prevent them from attending services in-person… It will not be successful. 

Nevertheless, as we continue to be outraged and troubled by these acts of hate, we are also witnessing that these incidents and the likes thereof are drawing people of faith and good consciousness together. During the incident one of our neighbors from across the street, whom we didn’t know, helped with our elderly members, and made bottled water and use of their restroom available.

We greatly appreciate the numerous calls, texts, and emails we’ve received from neighbors, faith communities and our partners locally and across the nation extending their regards, thoughts, and concerns for our well-being. This horrific and senseless act reminds us of the importance of discussing ways to improve safety, even within the most sacred of places and assemblies. Anyone with information related to this crime is encouraged to contact MPD at 202-673-6820.
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