The leader of a Northern Virginia mosque is defending himself after some Muslim leaders criticized him for reciting a prayer at President Donald Trump's interfaith worship service.
Imam Mohamed Magid helps lead the ADAMS Center in Sterling, Virginia. He said he is aware of some of the comments President Trump has made about Muslims in the past, but he said Saturday's service at the National Cathedral provided him an opportunity to teach people the importance of diversity.
"My message was let us look at the beautiful way that God created all of us," he said.
Many Muslims are concerned about what a Trump presidency will mean for them, especially after President Trump hinted at a ban for Muslim immigrants on the campaign trail.
"Donald J. Trump is calling for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on," Trump said last December.
But, Magid said he still believes he did the right thing.
"As long as I can participate and show my true faith with anyone," he said. "I will do that."
Magid has the support of his mosque, too.
"We believe in engagement to overcome those different perspectives," said ADAMS Center Board Chair Rizwan Jaka. "The verses that Imam Magid chose were about how God created us as different nations and tribes so that we may get to know one another."
The ADAMS Center has participated in other interfaith services at the National Cathedral.
Magid said the church recommended him for the service to Trump's inaugural committee. In the meantime, he plans to pray that President Trump treat all faiths with respect.