The leadership of the Germantown Masjid has refused to conduct funeral services for Howard Cain, the bank robber who killed Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski with a Chinese-made semi-automatic rifle.
"No, we will not bury him at Germantown Masjid," said Tariq El Shabazz, managing director of the mosque. "We don't want one slight scintilla hinting that we condone his behavior."
On Sunday evening, a friend of Cain's family asked if Cain's burial could take place at the mosque on Germantown Avenue near Logan Street, El Shabazz said.
El Shabazz declined to conduct the service after researching Islamic law and meeting with Saadiq Abdul Jabbar, chief executive of the mosque; Imam Talib Abdullah, and others.
"We don't tolerate that kind of behavior," El Shabazz said. "Their actions are not from Islam. You don't dress like a woman, you don't rob people or transgress against them or commit murder. On all three grounds, they are dead wrong.
"We are not saying that Muslims should not bury him, or that he should not have Janaza [funeral prayers]," he added. "He is a Muslim and he has that right, but we don't want that here."
The religious leaders offered to "talk the family through the washing of the body and Janaza prayers," El Shabazz said, "but we didn't hear anything more from them after we stated our position."
El Shabazz, who is also a defense attorney, was just as adamant about fugitive Eric Floyd, who was arrested last night.
"That boy needs to . . . answer for what he did," El Shabazz said.
Since Sunday morning, Imam Abdullah has been preaching five times a day about the officer's murder.
Abdullah "is rough on his own people," Jabbar said. "He's an elder in the mosque, a religious teacher who has stature and he makes you feel the wrath of Allah."
At Friday's Jumah prayers, "Abdullah is going to deliver a very strong message about that kind of behavior, and take the position that the Muslim community has to stand against something like this," said Jabbar, referring to the killing of a police officer.
"You have to be clear and come out against them, even if they are in your flock," he added.
Asked if the burial service would take place at the Philadelphia Masjid, at 47th Street and Wyalusing Avenue, a source said: "I'm telling you now. We ain't burying him here." *