Tuesday, October 28, 2003
An investigative report on the front page of the Boston Herald today looks into the funding and some of the connections of the new $22 million mosque being built right here in the Hub. And guess what? Surprise, surprise, much of the funding is coming from Saudi Arabia, and some of the early backers include terror supporter Dr. Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi, who is barred from entering the US, and indicted terror-supporter Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi. See here for info on Alamoudi. See here for info on Qaradawi.
Should we be concerned about where the money for the mosque is coming from? Yes. Extremists in Saudi Arabia aren't funding mosques world-wide to spread a liberal, tolerant form of Islam. They take advantage of the West's liberal, pluralist impulses to get their footholds in, and Bostonians should be concerned about a Trojan Horse in our midst, with funding from abroad. We certainly should stay open for the possibility of real, welcoming Muslims who practice a form of Islam compatible with Western values, unfortunately, that breed appears fairly scarce these days. They're not where the money is.
The Islamic Society of Boston, which has city approval to build a sprawling $22 million Islamic cultural center and mosque on Malcolm X Boulevard, has had a long association with Dr. Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi, whose vocal support of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas prompted the State Department to bar him from entering the U.S. four years ago.
The local religious organization, now headquartered on Prospect Street in Cambridge, was founded by Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi - a high-profile Washington, D.C. activist who has publicly supported Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.
Alamoudi was arrested Sept. 28 at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and charged with making illegal trips to Libya and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Libyan government in violation of U.S. law.
Last Thursday, Alamoudi was indicted for his dealings with Libya and portrayed by prosecutors as a key financier for militant Islamic groups and terrorist organizations.
In that case, the U.S. government alleges Alamoudi funneled more than $230,000 to two front organizations for terrorist Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, as well as more than $100,000 to groups funding Hamas.
A lawyer representing the Islamic Society of Boston said the local group is not militant or extremist, and is in no way connected to Islamic terrorism.
However, public records indicate Al-Qaradawi and Alamoudi have both held leadership positions with the Islamic Society of Boston...
...A project update in the Islamic Society of Boston's May 2000 newsletter reported that in the previous month alone, the group raised $2 million in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states.
One source familiar with the project who spoke on the condition he not be named said the leaders of the Islamic society have made it clear that virtually all the financing for the cultural center is coming from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Gulf states.
Many mosques and Islamic institutions in the U.S. are funded by wealthy individuals and foundations in Saudi Arabia. Those financiers are almost without exception followers of Wahhabism, a harsh Saudi-based fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, and they make sure the American mosques they bankroll adhere to the sect's anti-Western ideology...
The city is giving the land for a bargain-basement price, and by doing so has a responsibility to keep an eye on what's going on there.
In May, the BRA sold the 1.9-acre lot to the group for the bargain price of $175,000, but construction has yet to begin. The Islamic Society of Boston's own newsletter said the land is worth $2 million.
Farrah said the ambitious project has been in the works for a decade. Now, he said, the Islamic Society of Boston has all the necessary building permits from the city and the start of work on the site is imminent...
Respecting and encouraging our city's multi-ethnic character is important. Making sure the people we're encouraging do the same is even more so.
Update: Of course, LGF also has the story.
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