Enchassi said his efforts to be neutral and promote reconciliation have been criticized by some members of the mosque who are frustrated and want people, including him, to choose sides.
“They don't differentiate between Imad, which is me, and imam, which is my title,” he said.
Enchassi said he has volunteered overseas for the past three years to aid refugees. He said he worked with Islamic Relief, an international humanitarian agency, to deliver food, visit hospitals and perform other volunteer projects in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. He said he still has family ties to the area, as his aunts and sister live in Syria.
Enchassi said he was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and spent his teen years in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps.
He was there in September 1982 when the camps were set upon by a group called the Lebanese Christian militiamen and hundreds of refugees were killed. Enchassi said he was rescued by the American Red Cross and subsequently came to the United States, settling in Lubbock, Texas, in 1983. Enchassi said he came to Oklahoma City in the late 1980s where he helped found the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City.