Township Mosque Co-Founder Invited To Pope’s Multireligious Gathering In NYC


Dr. Mansoor Rizvi is an invited guest to Pope Francis’ “Witness To Peace: A Multireligious Gathering” on Sept. 25 at the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.

One of the founders of the township’s Masjid-e-Ali mosque will be an invited guest at the Sept. 25 multireligious gathering hosted by Pope Francis at the Sept. 11 Memorial in New York City.

Dr. Mansoor Rizvi received an invitation to the event last month from Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York.

The event, which is expected to last about an hour, comes on the fourth day of the Pope’s visit to the United States. Prior to the 11:30 a.m. service at Ground Zero, the Pope will visit the United Nations General Assembly, according to a schedule of his visit.

The invitation caught Rizvi, a cardiologist and internist based in Clifton, totally by surprise, he said.

The letter was brought to Rizvi by his brother because it was mistakenly sent to his house, Rizvi said.

“The first thing he said was, ‘You have to go,’” Rizvi said.

“It was a very exciting thing, no doubt about that,” he said.

“Your attendance at this historic meeting of religious leaders with the Holy Father reflects your commitment to building bridges across religions and communities here in New York City and beyond,” Dolan wrote in the letter.

The Pope will lead a service involving members of the Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Native American communities, Dolan wrote.

“Our common witness to the peace on this sacred ground builds on the American tradition of religious freedom and respect for the other,” he wrote.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Rizvi said of the event. “It’s very symbolic. We don’t sit together, but we will sit together at the memorial, and I think that is the best thing you can ask for.”

“It’s really a great honor to meet such a wonderful and highly honorable person,” Rizvi said.

Rizvi, a member of the mosque’s Board of Directors, was among the group which envisioned the Islamic center as far back as 1982. Construction on the mosque, located on Cedar Grove Lane, began in 2006.


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