Text of Imam Intikab Habib's letter:
October 2, 2005
Dear Honorable Mayor, members of the Fire Department, and New Yorkers,
I am humbly writing this letter to you, clarifying the statement I made on Thursday, [September] 29 2005.
I was asked several times by a news reporter about the coincidence of my Islamic education being from Saudi Arabia and the 19 hijackers of September 11th also being from Saudi- whether that would place a barrier between myself and the fire fighters?
I innocently explained to her after she asked me to this effect several times, that I personally do not really know who committed the 9/11 attacks based on the conflicting information that I heard from the media.
My response in this context was only meant innocently to tell her that, not knowing who committed the attack avails me that idling consciousness of how my fire fighter brothers and sisters would look at me, and it makes me assimilate very smoothly with this department and thus, there should absolutely be no barriers. The news reporter's further inquiries as to the reasons why I am not really certain who committed the 9/11 attacks prompted me to mention the conflicting information that I heard from the media.
My Mayor, Fire Fighters, and New Yorkers, this was the first time I was ever interviewed by the media and I didn't know that all of my innocent and friendly chat with this reporter would be placed in the media to cause such an outrage with my New Yorker's brothers and sisters.
I regret any inconveniences my words may have caused. This incident is very difficult on me, my family, and the Muslim community. I hope you, the members of the Fire Department, and the New Yorkers can find it in your hearts to see my innocence, and that I never meant to be insensitive to the families who have lost love ones on 9/11.
It was a pleasure working for this City in the capacity of a chaplain in the Fire Department. I had a wonderful time serving my fire fighter brothers and sisters. It felt as if we were a big family. It was very hard for me to accept that the day I was to be sworn in as a chaplain, I ended up resigning. I am sure life has many lessons to learn.
In conclusion my respected Mayor, fire fighters, and New Yorkers, I would like to state that neither I nor any other true Muslim in this beautiful country, in any way condone the 9/11 attacks. It was tragic, sad, and unfortunate. May Almighty God guide and bless our Mayor and the citizens of our land.