Mass. Governor Replaces Boston Bombers’ Imam at Prayer Service
Americans for Peace and Tolerance is celebrating that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick rescinded an invitation to the imam of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked mosque to participate in an interfaith prayer service. It is now known that the mosque was attended by the Boston bombers, though it condemns the attack. You can thank Governor Patrick by clicking here.
Imam Suhaib Webb of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center said on twitter that Governor Patrick’s office suddenly disinvited him to the service and he did not know why. The Clarion Project has documented the Muslim Brotherhood links of the ISBCC and its parent mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston.
Imam Webb was replaced by Nasser Wedaddy of the American-Islamic Congress, an organization whose leader participated in a pro-NYPD Muslim rally to counter the influence of Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The organization is also a member of the American Islamic Leadership Coalition. Other members of the coalition include Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, narrator of The Third Jihad, C. Holland Taylor, Jamal Hasan, Tarek Fatah and Raquel Evita Saraswati.
The Islamic Society of Boston had Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the pro-terrorism spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, as one of its original trustees. In 2008, it was reported that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Pakistani Islamist group, Jamaat-e-Islami, “are the prominent belief systems. The popular websites used by members, and recommended by mosque leaders, are mostly fundamentalist, and rabidly homophobic.”
The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center is a separate 70,000-square foot, approximately $15 million mosque operated by the Boston chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS). Federal prosecutors said in 2008 that MAS was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.” A convicted terrorist named Abdurrahman Alamoudi, a founder of the Islamic Society of Boston and admitted U.S. Muslim Brotherhood member, said last year, “Everybody knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The Boston bombers attended the Islamic Society of Boston. A friend of the younger bomber, Dzhokhan Tsarnaev, says he last saw him at the Islamic Society of Boston there during Ramadan. The mosque says that the older brother, Tamerlan, was an “occasional” attendee over the past year and a half. He was kicked out of a prayer service about three months ago after he loudly interrupted the imam for exalting Martin Luther King Jr. He returned to the weekly services without further incident.
The Islamic Society of Boston quickly condemned the Boston bombings. It said it would leave “no stone uncovered in finding any other suspects connected to the bombs.” The Islamic Society of Boston says it opposes “the taking of innocent, non-combatant lives through acts of terrorism or state-sponsored aggression.”
However, it has promoted Islamist themes like the U.S. government is persecuting Muslims and the war on terrorism is actually a war on Islam. The Cultural Center says jihad doesn’t mean holy war but can mean “struggle in the battlefield for self-defense (e.g.-having a standing army for national defense), or fighting against tyranny or oppression.”
Americans for Peace and Tolerance released a video in May 2010 criticizing the Patrick Administration’s embrace of Islamists, including an imam who preached that the FBI was persecuting innocent Muslims and the community must “pick up the gun and sword.” Governor Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino initially embraced the Islamic Society of Boston and attended the grand opening of the Cultural Center.
Patrick’s trip to the Cultural Center was sponsored by Islamic Relief USA. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley even accepted a $50,000 grant from the Muslim American Society to pay for “sensitivity” training for law enforcement. In January, the Clarion Project discovered that the group has at least four officials with Muslim Brotherhood ties. It was previously found out that its CEO has served as an advisor to the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.
Wilad Fitahi temporarily resigned as a trustee of the Islamic Society of Boston after attention was brought to anti-Semitic comments he had made. He said Jews “would be punished for their oppression, murder and rape of the worshippers of Allah.” Fitahi views interfaith engagement as a way of countering Jewish influence and boasted that it “has begun to trouble the Zionist lobby.” He predicted, “Their [the Jewish] covenant with America is the strongest possible in the U.S., but it is weaker than they think, and one day their covenant with the [American] people will be cut off.”
Even if the Islamic Society of Boston and its Cultural Center condemn the Boston bombings and violence against non-combatants (what about U.S. soldiers?), the Islamist themes they promote sets the stage for acts of terrorism and hostility towards the West. Belief in the Muslim Brotherhood ideology is often a precursor to belief in the tactics of Al-Qaeda.
If it is proven that the Boston bombers frequently attended the Islamic Society of Boston, then the ISB failed to sufficiently inoculate them from radical influences. At worse, the ISB’s teachings set the stage for the accepting of those influences.
Governor Deval Patrick’s apparent learning from his mistakes is an important victory. Officials who change course when confronted with the facts need to be commended. Thank him by contacting his office here.
This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.