Islamic Society of Boston

Address: Cambridge, MA 02139

Website:www.IslamicSocietyofBoston.org

 

The Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) says it follows “a path of moderation that is free of extremism”[1] and condemns “the taking of innocent, non-combatant lives through acts of terrorism or state-sponsored aggression.”[2] The ISB deed is held by the North American Islamic Trust.[3]

The ISB’s teachings are largely based on Islamists like Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi and Sayyid Qutb, the Brotherhood cleric who influenced Osama Bin Laden, as reported in 2008 that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Pakistani Islamist group, Jamaat-e-Islami “are the prominent belief systems. The popular Web sites used by members, and recommended by mosque leaders, are mostly fundamentalist, and rabidly homophobic.”[4]

“Their writings and teachings were fanatical. I left and refused to go back to pray. I left Egypt to escape the Muslim Brotherhood, but I had found it there,” reported Sheikh Ahmed Mansour in 2013.[5]

In 2004, the ISB website had a section titled, “40 Recommendations for the Muslim Home.” It said to “Hang up the whip where the members of the household can see it,” and that children are to be “hit” if they refuse to pray once they are 10 years old.

The section also said regarding wife-beating, “Hitting is not the way to discipline; it is not to be resorted to, except when all other means are exhausted, or when it is needed to force someone to do obligatory acts of obedience.”[6]

One of the founders of the ISB is Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who was its first president.[7] He was convicted on terrorism-related charges in 2004 and has admitted to being a secret Muslim Brotherhood operative. He wrote from his prison cell, “I am, I hope, still a member of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the USA.”[8] He was last paid a speaking fee by ISB in 2000,[9] the same year he publicly expressed his support for Hamas and Hezbollah.

Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi has been on the ISB board of trustees. Tax filings for 1998-2000 include his name under a list of “officers, directors, trustees and key employees.”[10] In 2002, he helped ISB fundraise via videotape because the U.S. wouldn’t grant him entry. His name also appeared on the ISB website until March 2001. The ISB originally denied having any connection to Qaradawi and later claimed that the inclusion of his name on the tax forms was an error.[11]

The ISB has hosted Islamist speakers like Salah Soltan and Yasir Qadhi.[12] In March 2010, Imam Abdullah Faarooq said that Aafia Siddiqui, a young woman arrested for her Al-Qaeda ties, was innocent and “You must grab on to this rope, grab on to the typewriter, grab on to the shovel, grab on to the gun and the sword, don’t be afraid to step out into this world and do your job.”[13]

ISB has donated “thousands” of dollars to the Holy Land Foundation, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity later shut down for financing Hamas.[14] It also donated to Benevolence International Foundation, later identified as an Al-Qaeda front.[15]

Imam Sheikh Basyouny Nehela, who has served ISB for at least 10 years, is also a board member of the Boston chapter of the Muslim American Society.[16]

Osama Kandil, who has served as chairman of the ISB board, is one of nine founders of the Muslim Arab Youth Association. He has also been a vice president of the group. A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo identifies it as one of its fronts. The government labeled it an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Trial, listing it among U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities.

In 1994, Hamas fundraiser Mohammed El-Mezain addressed the Muslim Arab Youth Association. He spoke after an individual that was introduced as a leader of the “Hamas military wing.” An FBI report document the speaker saying, “I’ve been told to restrict or restrain what I say … I hope no one is recording me or taking any pictures, as none are allowed … because I’m going to speak the truth to you. It’s simple. Finish off the Israelis. Kill them all! Exterminate them! No peace ever!”[17]

Walid Fitaihi is another ISB trustee. He resigned after anti-Semitic writings he made in Arabic came to light. He said that Jews “perpetrated the worst of evils and brought the worst corruption to the earth,”[18] are the “murderers of prophets” and “would be punished for their oppression, murder and rape of the worshippers of Allah.” He also claimed that the “Zionist lobby in America … has recruited many of the influential media.”[19]

Fitahi views interfaith engagement as a way of countering Israeli influence and boasted that it “has begun to trouble the Zionist lobby.” He predicted, “Their [the Zionist lobby] 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.”[20]

He returned as a trustee after the Muslim American Society’s Boston chapter took over the ISB Cultural Center.[21]

Jamal Badawi has been another ISB trustee. He is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial because he was one of its fundraisers. In 2010, he endorsed “combative jihad.” He has also justified suicide bombings and refers to Hamas terrorists as “martyrs.”[22] His name is in a 1992 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood directory and is a founder of the Muslim American Society.

The ISB filed a defamation lawsuit in 2005 against reporters and terrorism experts that pointed out facts like these and accused them of having anti-Muslim biases. The lawsuit was dropped in 2007.

The Islamic Society of Boston was attended by the Tsarnayev brothers From Chechnya who carried out the Boston bombings in April 2013. Other attendees include Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists Aafia Siddiqui, Tarek Mehanna and Ahmad Abousamra, who is the son of a former Muslim American Society vice president.[23]

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[1] “About ISB,” ISB website, http://islamicsocietyofboston.org/?page_id=2

[2] “Value Statement,” ISB website, http://islamicsocietyofboston.org/?page_id=83

[3] “9/11 Connection to Marathon Bombings?” WorldNetDaily, April 25, 2013. http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/911-connection-to-marathon-bombings/

[4] Bernstein, David S. “Menino’s Mosque,” Boston Phoenix, November 24, 2008. http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/72356-Meninos-mosque/?page=10#TOPCONTENT, p. 10.

[5] Chiaramonte, Perry. “Boston Marathon Bomber’s Mosque Long a Lightning Rod for Criticism,” Fox News, April 24, 2013. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/24/mosque-where-boston-marathon-bombing-suspect-attended-has-controversial-past/print#ixzz2RQFKWdRo

[7] Clyne, Meghan. “Treasury Department Tars Alamoudi, Founder of the Islamic Society of Boston,” New York Sun, December 9, 2005. http://www.nysun.com/national/treasury-department-tars-alamoudi-founder-of/24211/

[8]Jihad in America: The Grand Deception,” SAE Productions.

[9] “Islamic Society of Boston,” Investigative Project on Terrorism, http://www.investigativeproject.org/case/531

[10] Ibid.

[11] Barnett, Dean. “The Islamists Are Coming!” The Weekly Standard, Vol. 12, No. 37, June 11, 2007. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/727jbsso.asp

[12] Hale, Dennis and Charles Jacobs. “Right of Reply: Boston Mosque’s Leaders are Extremist,” Jerusalem Post, July 8, 2009.  http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=148040

[13] Chiaramonte, Perry. “Boston Marathon Bomber’s Mosque Long a Lightning Rod for Criticism,” Fox News, April 24, 2013. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/24/mosque-where-boston-marathon-bombing-suspect-attended-has-controversial-past/print#ixzz2RQFKWdRo

[14] Hale, Dennis. “Texas Terrorism Trial Ties Boston Mosque Leaders to Extremist Network,” Reuters, December 3, 2008. http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/12/03/idUS134840+03-Dec-2008+PRN20081203

[15] Abrams, Floyd. “Be Careful What You Sue For,” Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2007. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118109777647426054.html

[16] “Our Board,” Muslim American Society Boston website, http://masboston.org/live/?page_id=47

[17] Mowbray, Joel. “The Friends of Bill Pascrell,” Powerline Blog, June 2, 2012. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/06/the-friends-of-bill-pascrell-2.php

[18] Cochran, Andrew. “Caught in the Act: Smear Attempt on Steven Emerson Boomerangs,” Counter-Terrorism Blog, March 13, 2008. http://counterterrorismblog.org/2008/03/caught_in_the_act_smear_attemp.php

[19] Barnett, 2007.

[20] Bostom, Andrew G. “An Apology for Koranic Antisemitism?” American Thinker, April 20, 2007. http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/04/an_apology_for_koranic_antisem.html

[21] Bernstein, David S. “Menino’s Mosque,” Boston Phoenix, November 24, 2008. http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/72356-Meninos-mosque/?page=10#TOPCONTENT, p. 10.

[22] “Jamal Badawi: Enduring Link to ISNA’s Past,” IPT News, May 8, 2012. http://www.investigativeproject.org/3569/jamal-badawi-enduring-link-to-isna-radical-past

[23] Dorell, Oren. “Mosque That Boston Suspects Attended Has Radical Ties,” USA Today, April 24, 2013. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/23/boston-mosque-radicals/2101411/

 

 

Ryan Mauro
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's Shillman Fellow and national security analyst and an adjunct professor of counter-terrorism. He is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio.

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