Two Boston-based critics of the new Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISB), watched last week's opening ceremonies at the mosque and describe some disturbing, if not unsurprising incidents. The mosque's development was riddled with troubling facts, from the sweetheart land deal it received from the city to the troubling people influential inside the mosque. They include Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi and Jamal Badawi, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas-support prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation.
In a column Sunday, Boston College political scientist Dennis Hale and Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance say they saw little to assuage their concerns about extremist leadership at the new mosque:
"Some milestone! The city has helped the Wahhabi clerical establishment - purveyors of the most intolerant religious teachings on the planet - and the Muslim Brotherhood - genesis of all Sunni terrorist organizations - set up shop in the Cradle of Liberty, flying a false flag of moderation. And to make matters worse, this sad milestone is praised as a great victory for diversity and a boon to local Muslims.
Meanwhile, those who criticize this arrangement are branded as bigots and dragged into court, while the press and public officials ignore the links between the leaders of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and Islamist hatred and terrorism. These claims are supported by tens of thousands of pages of evidence - much of it delivered to us by the society as a result of the discovery process triggered by their own lawsuit."
That lawsuit, which also targeted Investigative Project on Terrorism Executive Director Steven Emerson, was dropped during the discovery process. No damages were paid, no one retracted anything and the defendants are free to continue investigating and criticizing the mosque.
Despite all the disclosures, the mosque's opening still drew Mayor Tom Menino and a videotaped greeting from Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick. But outside, away from the pleasantries extended to the politicians, Hale and Jacobs report an encounter which verified their worst concerns:
"One of the imams who came over to talk with us denied the existence of slavery in the Sudan and said that preaching death for homosexuals is an 'opinion' to which Qaradawi is 'entitled.' And an angry Muslim youth from the mosque informed us that it was common knowledge that the Jews had tried to assassinate and 'betray' the prophet Mohammed. Consequently, he claimed that Jews could be discriminated against 'to some extent.'"
"No sensible person believes that this is what multiculturalism is supposed to mean," the writers conclude, Nor is it something that should be difficult to understand. Read the Hale and Jacobs column here.