Sunday, March 4, 2007
...any friends. A recent email sent out by ISB spokesperson Jessica Masse crows over the fact that several groups have filed amicus briefs in support of the Islamic Society of Boston's reign of legal terror over anyone with the audacity to speak out against the ISB's connections to extremists and the bigoted statements made by some of its trustees and most admired persons.
More good news for the Muslim community! There has been a groundswell of interest from individuals and organizations asking us how they can help publicly support the ISB and the Muslim community. So far, we've had over 25 organizations express interest in:
"supporting the right of the ISB to raise funds and build its mosque in an atmosphere free from negative and defamatory stereotyping, and that the best interests of not only ISB members, but all citizens, rest upon allowing the Muslim community to freely exercise their right of worship and expression in the United States." -wording from the Amicus brief...
Stereotyping? In what way is actually looking at the statements of ISB insiders and their associated groups "stereotyping" -- except in so far as these statements hold true to the stereotype, but that's the fault of the speaker isn't it, not those who choose to ignore the hate. The "Muslim community" is perfectly free, and has always been perfectly free to exercise their religion and build places of worship, but if this particular group thinks that they are going to absorb and speak for the entire community without a word of protest, they've got another think coming.
"All Muslims living here in the US"? The ISB actually purports to speak for all Muslims? I should hope not. [Edit: And wouldn't it be nice if the ISB's trustees actually LIVED IN the US? None of them do.] We'll get to a few of the things the ISB "speaks" in a moment. I can imagine some of the naive among those who want to support the ISB just aren't aware of what the ISB is really about, and they may think they're actually supporting "all Muslims." They're wrong.
Following is our public statement, and the public statements of Alice Rothchild, from Jewish Voices [sic] for Peace.
How ironic. JVfP actually runs a full time blog dedicated to fighting against supposed efforts to "muzzle" criticism of Israel, yet here they are signing on to a massive lawsuit that's the most threatening to free speech I've ever seen.
ISB Trustee and Saudi Arabian citizen Walid Fitaihi has written such things as:
...and he's still a trustee as far as I know. And their desired trustee and much admired personage, Sheik Yousef al-Qaradhawi? It hardly seems worth dredging his well-known record back up at this point. And remember Hamza Pelletier, spokesperson for the MAS (a group that basically overlaps the ISB, and on who's mailing list the Masse email appears), who stated that he didn't believe Hamas was a terror group? Then of course there are the former founders and officers with terror links, one of whom is currently doing time.
One could go on and on with this stuff...the issues with the Muslim American Society, the Saudi connections...there's PLENTY to be concerned about...and see Miss Kelly's latest: ISB Contributing to Terrorist Organizations?
Oh yeah, I'm real happy with this group building a mammoth mosque on subsidized property. The only question is, why aren't more people concerned, and why are groups like JVfP signing on to a lawsuit against people who ask these questions?
BOSTON â€“ A number of religious and civic organizations filed Amicus Briefs on Monday, February 26, 2007, in support of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) in its defamation lawsuit against the David Project, the Boston Herald, Fox-TV, and a number of individuals and organizations who are working together to halt the construction of a mosque in Roxbury.
â€œThe Islamic Society of Boston is grateful for the extraordinary support from the numerous organizations which have stepped forward today to file Amicus Briefs in support of the ISB,â€ said the Societyâ€™s interfaith coordinator Jessica Masse. â€œThe Massachusetts Superior Court has now twice affirmed the ISB's right to seek relief from the false, Islamaphobic and damaging media campaign mounted against it to prevent the building of a new mosque and cultural center in Roxbury.â€
The David Project and other defendants have appealed and continue to press the courts to throw out the case based on the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP law, a law that was intended to protect abutting land owners participating in public processes from strategic lawsuits brought by developers to intimidate them.
They do so despite having never participated in the multi-year public process that led the BRA to transfer land in Roxbury to the ISB for the multi-million dollar mosque.
According to Masse, â€œThe ISB's lawsuit is an important civil rights case. It seeks to battle discrimination and secure for area Muslims the same rights of freedom of worship and assembly that all faith and non-faith based groups in our society hold dear.
"We are overwhelmed by the show of support from our friends and neighbors. Thanks to the willingness of these groups to come forward and speak out, there is a growing groundswell of support for the ISB and its right to combat discrimination by seeking justice in the courts,â€ Masse added.
The first non-Muslim organization to approach the ISB and ask questions was Boston's Jewish Voice for Peace.
â€œBecause Jews have felt the effects of discrimination through much of our history, we are particularly troubled by the actions of the David Project and others in what appears to be an organized effort to prevent Muslims from building a place of worship and inter-religious dialogue. Although our goal is ultimately to promote positive relationships between the Jewish and Muslim communities, as Boston area Jews, we support the ISBâ€™s right to legal redress in the face of what appears to be a malicious media campaign against them. It is important that we make a public statement that the David Project and its allies do not speak for us.â€ explains Alice Rothchild, co-chair for JVP Boston.
Other groups that have joined in filing an Amicus Brief written by Boston lawyer Thomas A. Reed, include the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Tekiah, the Boston Tikkun Community, Community Change, Inc., The Diocese of St. Francis of Assisi, the Massachusetts Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, United for Justice and Peace, Cambridge United for Justice and Peace, Clarendon Church and Dorchester People for Peace. The Muslim Public Affairs Council has also come forward and filed its own Amicus Brief in support of the ISB represented by Boston lawyer Max Stern.
In case you don't recognize it, this list is the exact grouping of usual suspects -- Islamists, Arabists, FAR-Leftists...and lest you be confused, "The Diocese of St. Francis of Assisi" is a renegade church having nothing to do with the Church in Rome (thanks Miss K)
We have heard from many organizations and community leaders and the very strong sentiment has been that the ISB should have its day in court," said Heidi Nadel, lawyer for the ISB. On Friday, a Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit initiated by the David Project against it, the BRA and Roxbury Community College. That lawsuit, filed in the name of James Policastro in order to keep the role of the David Project hidden from the public, sought to undo the land deal between the ISB and the BRA which would have required the ISB to tear down the already partially built mosque. The Court ruled that if Mr. Policastro had any real objection to the project, he should have participated in the multi-year process which led up to the land transfer, but he failed to do so.
In a 2/25/07 Boston Globe article, Mr. Policastro and his lawyer, Samuel Perkins, refused to state publicly who paid for the now-dismissed lawsuit, and Mr. Policastro openly conceded that it would not be his decision whether to appeal the dismissal of the case.
â€œThe ISB calls upon the Mr. Policastro and his counsel to openly state who is behind his lawsuit and who financed the effort to stop the building of a place of worship by area Muslims,â€ Masse noted. â€œDespite all that has happened, including our most recent legal victory, we remain ready to sit down with all those who oppose us, including the David Project, and with a professional mediator to try and resolve our differences,â€ said Masse. â€œNow is the time for healing and reconciliation. We urge the David Project to rethink its approach as to how communities here in Boston should inter-act with each other.â€
According to an article in The Jewish Advocate, Policastro is appealing the decision. I will post it when I have an online version.
Update: The article concerning the appeal is here.
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Before CAIR and the Flying Imams...the Islamic Society of Boston had already pioneered the use of lawsuits to silence their critics and the media. By Martin Solomon [Illustration from All Things Beautiful] You are a graduate of Egypt's Al-Azhar Univers... Read More