Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Walid Fitaihi is a Trustee of the Islamic Society of Boston, a man whose presence is one of the many troubling aspects of their Boston Mosque project. A few years ago, the Saudi Fitaihi did a tour through the neighborhood, making nice and putting on his best "moderate" face for the locals, including influential Rabbis. Everyone was happy.

Then he went home to Saudi Arabia:

...around the same time, in 2001, he authored anti-Semitic statements in British and Egyptian Arabic-language papers in which he praised suicide bombings against Israel and said Jews are "murderers of the prophets" and would be punished for their "oppression, murder, and rape of the worshippers of Allah." After undergoing an internal review of Fitaihi's writings, and considering their "historic and linguistic context," the ISB later apologized in letters to Temple Israel and other Jewish groups for offending, and said the words of its trustee--who has since moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia--"were not meant to incite hatred of an entire faith or people."...

Fitaihi first claimed he was mistranslated, but that was false. It took the ISB seven months to admit what Fitaihi had written, and they still equivocate on their website today. You know, it wasn't YOU Jews he was talking about, it's only the BAD JEWS he's against.

Well Fitaihi parachuted into town the other day, and this time, in a closed meeting at the left-wing Jewish group Workmen's Circle, he apologized: Jewish Advocate: Controversial Islamic figure apologizes to Jewish leaders

Dr. Walid Ahmad Fitaihi speaks in private meeting

A central figure in the ongoing controversy between the Islamic Society of Boston and members of the Jewish community spoke to Jewish leaders on April 6 to apologize for statements he made that many alleged were anti-Semitic.

In a meeting closed to the media, about 25 religious and lay leaders from the Boston area gathered at the Workmen’s Circle building on Beacon Street in Brookline, according to Attorney and Vice President of the Workmen’s Circle Michael Felsen, to listen and respond to comments by Dr. Walid Ahmad Fitaihi.

The event was organized by the Workmen’s Circle and the Interreligious Center for Public Life, the public policy center at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College of Newton...

...And though Fitaihi, now the chairman of the board and chief executive officer at the International Medical Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, left the country Sunday, Felsen said that Fitaihi “recognized that there were wounds in both directions, to both the Jewish and Muslim communities, and he came with the stated desire to begin to heal the wounds caused by some of his words.”

Felsen added: “I think it was a powerful gesture of reaching out to the Jewish community. There was a sense that this was an important meeting and an important step towards potential broad reconciliation of our communities.”

Really? We don't have any wording from the "apology," nor do we know who, exactly, was at the meeting. How do we measure this? Fitaihi jetted into town, then just as quickly jetted out after facing what looks like a friendly audience and no serious or skeptical questioning -- a group who then...surprise...pronounce him absolved.

What is the meaning of an apology given in front of a bunch of people who weren't looking for one in the first place? Were Workmen's Circle members even allowed in? This looks like the same group that's been trying to "mediate" (read: bury) this controversy for some time. So now they're talking to themselves and staging events for attention...

Don't miss Miss Kelly's entry on this, here: Walid Fitaihi Apologizes.

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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