This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.
One of the invitees and participants of the recent White House conference on "Countering Violent Extremism" was the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (Roxbury). In addition, since Boston is one of three cities identified by the White House in a pilot program, they will be actually "partnering" with this mosque. Here is some interesting background on this questionable mosque (and its sister mosque in Cambridge).
One of the members of the board of directors has been none other than Yusuf al Qaradawi, the Egyptian-born imam who is described as arguably the "most-respected Islamic scholar in the world". If you think that's a positive, hold on to your horses. Qaradawi was in exile under the reign of Hosni Mubarak because he is considered the spiritual mentor to the Muslim Brotherhood. In Qatar, he has made numerous intemperate remarks (on videotape) claiming that the Holocaust was "God's punishment for the Jews". He has also expressed his desire to die fighting in battle against the infidels. He has been banned from entering the United States for the past 15 or so years.
Aside from Qaradawi, there are several convicted terrorists serving time in prison in the US who came out of the Boston mosque. These include Tarek Mehanna, Aafia Siddiqi, and Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who was a leading mosque official.
Then, of course, their are the Brothers Tsarnaev of Boston Marathon fame. The elder brother is dead, killed by police in a shoot-out while the younger is pending trial for murder. They attended the sister mosque in Cambridge.
The current head imam of the Boston mosque is Suhail Webb, originally from Oklahoma, where he served as the head imam of the Oklahoma City mosque prior to moving to Boston. Interestingly, though he is hailed as one of those "moderates", he was removed as a speaker at the last minute during memorial services for the Boston Marathon victims. He is also reportedly a member of the Muslim American Society, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Last year, an anonymous ex-member of the Oklahoma City mosque told Sean Hannity on television (with his face obscured) that Webb had once told him not to talk to the media and to conceal the part of Islamic doctrine that talks about the three choices to be offered to Christians and Jews (convert, live in subjugation and pay the jizya tax, or fight to the death).
None of the above has kept the Boston mosque from holding inter-faith events which include public schools and synagogues sending their children to mosque events in the name of education and outreach. In fact, Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (based in Boston) has been excoriated by local Jewish religious and community leaders because he has attempted to expose the radical leanings of the mosque. It seems too many Jewish leaders are invested in inter-faith connections with the mosque.
How instructive it should be that the Obama White House saw fit to invite this mosque to participate in a conference dedicated to "Countering Violent Extremism".