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Muslim Prayer Sparks Protest from Delaware Lawmaker

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A reading from the Quran as the opening prayer for a Delaware state Senate session drew a sharp rebuke from a Republican lawmaker, who said the Muslim holy book calls for the death of Americans.

Two representatives from the Tarbiyah Mosque in Newark were invited to Wednesday's session to deliver the prayer, beginning with a chant in Arabic before a reading a prayer in English that was based on a Quranic verse but deleted references to Allah.

Republican senators Dave Lawson and Colin Bonini walked out of the chamber before the prayer was given.

Lawson then rose afterward to speak, calling what happened "despicable."

Democratic President Pro Tem David McBride later took Lawson to task, saying he was personally offended that the Muslim guests would not feel welcomed.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.