Imam criticized for stock show prayer invited to pray in Dallas

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins invited a Fort Worth imam to pray in commissioners' court Tuesday after the imam's prayer at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Sunday generated some criticism on social media.

"As a leader in a large urban county, I was angry, and as a Christian, I was angry because that's not the way that my faith teacher me to treat other people," said Jenkins regarding the backlash surrounding Sunday's prayer.

The negative comments that followed that prayer were so great that the imam, Moujahed Bakhach, canceled scheduled prayer Monday night.

Jenkins quoted New Testament scripture Tuesday.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your soul and your mind and love your neighbor as yourself," said Jenkins. "I apologize on behalf of the citizens here in North Texas who failed on the, miserably on the last part of that, the greatest commandment."

For Jenkins, it was more than what happened at the stock show – during the time of helping Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan's loved ones, Jenkins' daughter was taunted at school, and Muslim children defended her.

"We have to do more work with our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues and wherever our citizens in all North Texas area and beyond to explain ourselves much more than that they are hearing from the media," said Bakhach.

Muslim Day became muddied at the state capitol last week when a protestor took over the podium and microphone, saying, "Islam will never dominate the United States, and by the grace of God, it will not dominate Texas."

Judge Jenkins says these incidents and more show that we have yet to become inclusive and accepting of all people, and in his words, that sends a very bad message.

"I thank you for honoring us today with your presence and your prayer," said Jenkins.

"On behalf of myself and my community and my family, judge, thank you very much for having me this morning," said Bakhach. "It's a blessing."  

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