Washington County Mayor's Prayer Breakfast Revived

February 9, 2006

Source: The Oregonian


On February 9, 2006 The Oregonian reported, "Mayors and faith will mix publicly again in Washington County, two years after a longstanding Mayors' Prayer Breakfast fell apart when a Muslim speaker was 'disinvited' from the program. The first Washington County Mayors' Interfaith Breakfast will be Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Kingstad Center in Beaverton. Four of the county's 11 mayors will attend... The 'Sacred Words of Many Faiths' segment will feature Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Unitarian, Baha'i and other faiths. Since 1986, a chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship had organized a Mayors' Prayer Breakfast of Washington County. The first public objection arose in 2003, when Fred Ruby, a Jewish member of the Beaverton City Council, criticized the event for appearing to be sanctioned by the city while it excluded religions other than Christianity. [Rob Drake, mayor of Beaverton] said the event was not organized or sponsored by the city. Drake, who attends the conservative Beaverton Foursquare Church, says his thinking about the prayer breakfast began evolving after Ruby's comments. Drake got to know the president of Beaverton's Bilal Mosque, Shahriar Ahmed. As the 2004 breakfast approached, Drake invited Shahriar Ahmed and Rabbi David Rosenberg to participate. But prayer breakfast organizers 'disinvited' Ahmed because he was Muslim and they didn't want to promote Islam. Drake and several others who had been scheduled to speak backed out of the breakfast, which was canceled. On Feb. 16, Ahmed will speak at the Interfaith Breakfast."