Americans for Peace and Tolerance Advise Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino - Don't Embrace Extremist Leadership In Boston

Jun 25, 2009, 11:04 ET from Americans for Peace and Tolerance

The Leadership of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) is linked with Radical Organizations

BOSTON, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Americans for Peace and Tolerance:

On June 26, Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will be honored guests at the grand opening of the Islamic Society of Boston's Cultural Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts. We wish the Boston Muslim community well in their new cultural and religious center, and we celebrate the growing religious diversity it represents.

We are deeply concerned, however, about the extremist leadership of this new institution:

  • The ISB was founded by Abdulrahman Alamoudi, currently serving 23 years in prison on terrorism charges. An original trustee of the ISB, Yusuf Qaradawi, is the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He promotes hatred and violence against Americans, Jews, women, and homosexuals. Current ISB President Osama Kandil was a director of Taibeh International - a Muslim charity designated as a terrorist entity by the US Government in 2004.

  • Jamal Badawi, a recently-appointed Trustee of the ISBCC, was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of a Muslim charity (Holy Land Foundation).(1) The Holy Land Foundation was recently convicted for sending money to the terrorist group Hamas.

  • The ISBCC is now controlled by the radical Muslim American Society (MAS). U.S. Federal prosecutors have identified the MAS as "the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America."(2) The Muslim Brotherhood is a global Islamist organization and a key source of worldwide Islamic extremism, including Al Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and many other terrorist groups.

  • The Muslim Brotherhood operates as a secretive, highly organized movement. Its goals are to radicalize the historically moderate American Muslim population and to proselytize to disadvantaged and alienated segments of our society.

  • A majority of the funding for the center's construction came from Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states.

  • The ISB/MAS has attempted to hide the identity of its true leadership by rotating trustees and board members. These groups claim that Qaradawi's name -- which appeared on their tax returns and website for ten years -- was included by a "clerical error." They falsely state that a new local board took control over the center from the mostly foreign-based Trustees. Finally, when the ISB name became just too controversial, the leadership re-branded the Islamic Society of Boston into the Muslim American Society's Boston branch.

Why have many in the media been reluctant to investigate the radical leadership of the ISB/MAS? A likely reason is the general concern that being critical of the leadership will result in perceived prejudice against the Muslim community as a whole. Most media reporting has simply assumed that the questions raised about ISB/MAS leadership have been resolved, contrary to the evidence.

We also are very troubled by a recent sermon given by a visiting preacher, Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, at the ISB's Cambridge center. Sheikh Yasir Qadhi has previously denied the Holocaust, claimed that Jews want to destroy Muslims, and called all non-Muslims (including Jews and Christians) a "spiritually filthy substance" whose lives and property hold no value and are forfeit to Muslims during Jihad.

Civic leaders and the media participating in the ISBCC opening ceremonies must confront these very troubling facts. We call upon Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino to reject the extremist leadership of the center, while continuing to reach out to the moderate Muslim community in Boston.

Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) is a Boston-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence in a ethnically diverse America. We are concerned citizens, academics, and community activists. As Christians, Jews and Muslims, we believe peaceful coexistence among diverse ethnic populations is only possible if we promote a climate of tolerance and civil society.

(1) "List of Unindicted Co-conspirators and/or Joint Venturers." U.S. Government vs. Holy Land Foundation et al. No. 3:04-C12-240-G. North Texas District Court. August 2007.

(2) "Brief for the United States." United States of America vs. Sabri Benkahla on Appeal. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. June 30, 2008.

SOURCE Americans for Peace and Tolerance