Source: The Inquirer
During its inauguration Friday night, the gleaming Bait-ul-Aafiyat mosque in North Philly lived up to its name: It’s Arabic for “house of security,” and there was plenty of that.
My Uber driver could get no closer than a block from the three-story, $8 million mosque at 1215 W. Glenwood Ave. because police had blocked off the street. veryone entering the mosque’s gated, four-acre grounds had to pass through a security tent equipped with airport-style metal detectors. As I did, one guard questioned another about my two-inch-long nail clipper, but waved me in. I guess I wasn’t much of a threat.
The security — including three snipers on the mosque’s roof — was worthy of a head of state, or a pope. Attending the mosque’s dedication ceremonies was Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the spiritual leader, or khalifa, of an estimated 30 million Ahmadi Muslims in more than 200 nations. About 20,000 live in the United States, 600 of them in Philadelphia.
Each time the Khalifa moved, several black-clad security people moved with him. During prayers, when everyone else bowed their heads, they did not, fastening their eyes on the crowd.