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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Silencing ends!

This press release just in from The David Project:

Islamic Society of Boston Drops Lawsuits Against David Project, Concerned Citizens, Boston Herald and Fox, Abandoning All Of Its Claims Without Receiving Any Payment

David Project to Continue Public Records Lawsuit To Force Disclosure of Evidence on Boston Redevelopment Authority-Islamic Society Land Deal

The David Project has announced that the Islamic Society of Boston ("ISB") and its officers have withdrawn all of their claims against all of the citizens who raised concerns about the ISB, its funding and its leadership, as well as all of their claims against the Boston Herald, Fox-TV and the various journalists whose investigative pieces about the ISB in 2003 and 2004 disclosed damaging information about the ISB and its controversial land deal with the Boston Redevelopment Authority ("BRA"). The ISB and its officers have abandoned all of their claims against all of the defendants they sued 2 years ago, without payment to the ISB or to them of any money whatsoever.

The ISB's decision to drop all of its claims against all of the 17 defendants it sued back in 2005 alleging "defamation" and accusing them of conspiring to violate its civil rights comes just months after the defendants--who included a Muslim cleric, a Christian political science professor and the Jewish daughter of Holocaust survivors, as well as Boston civic leader William Sapers and national terrorism expert Steven Emerson--had begun through their lawyers to conduct discovery into the ISB's financial records, its receipt of millions of dollars in funding from Saudi Arabian and other Middle Eastern sources, its contributions to certain organizations and the records of certain of its officers and directors. The ISB's abandonment of its lawsuits comes only weeks after two of its original Middle Eastern Trustees, Walid Fitaihi of Saudi Arabia and Ali Tobah of Egypt, suddenly resigned as Trustees just before they were required to submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts court hearing the case.

The David Project, whose public records litigation against the BRA forced the public disclosure of evidence regarding the below-fair-market land deal between the BRA and the ISB and the role played in that deal of BRA Deputy Director Muhammed Ali Salaam, will proceed exactly as before with its litigation, seeking the remainder of the documents presently withheld by the BRA. That litigation, The David Project v. Boston Redevelopment Authority, is on file in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston.

"We were determined from the beginning to act the way citizens should, by asking questions about this matter and by refusing to be intimidated into staying silent," said David Project founder and President Charles Jacobs, "and we intend to continue as we have before. Indeed, the evidence that has emerged about the transaction, about the BRA's failure to do due diligence into those whom it chose to subsidize and about the funding and the leadership of the organization that received this public subsidy is of extremely deep concern. That evidence not only vindicates the reporting of the courageous journalists whose investigative work broke the story back in 2003 and 2004, but validates many times over the concerns expressed by the good and decent citizens—Muslims, Christians and Jews- who refused to stay silent."

"Those citizens were vilified by the ISB for having had the courage to speak out", said Jacobs. "The ISB's abandonment of its claims without payment of one dollar to them, coming as it does as the ISB was ordered to turn over evidence, speaks more eloquently than anything else could about the truth of what these citizens said, about the validity of their concerns, and about the lack of merit to the ISB’s allegations that they had been ‘defamed’ and had been financially ‘damaged’. Above all, the ISB’s ultimate abandonment of its lawsuits speaks eloquently about the importance of refusing to be bullied and intimidated into silence."

"This has never been about the right of all people to worship, and to construct houses of worship, which is an important right possessed equally by all people, warranting great respect,” said Jacobs. “What it has been about is specific evidence about specific leaders of a specific organization, and about evidence regarding the funding of that organization and those whom it, in turn, was funding. The threat of Islamic extremism in the United States and elsewhere is a real one. Many of the most courageous and forceful individuals speaking out about this threat are themselves Muslims, and they deserve the support of all of us. The victory we have achieved in this case is a victory for many, but perhaps especially for them, as it bolsters and encourages them, and sends a message on their behalf that intimidation will not work."

Congratulations to all the defendants in the case. It seems clear that the growing number of disclosures were amounting a pile of evidence all pointing to the fact that the plaintiffs never had a case.

Expect things to take a turn with the ISB even more self-cast in the role of the victim. More news as we have it...

Update: The Muslim Brotherhood American Society has issued its "declare victory and depart the field" press release:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Contact:

M. Bilal Kaleem, Executive Director, MAS Boston (617-429-3237) bilal@masboston.org

Imam Mahdi Bray, Executive Director, MAS Freedom Foundation (202-421-3623)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAS Declares Victory in Protecting the Right to Build Major Islamic Center

Legal Settlement Ends Effort to Stop Construction of New England’s Largest Islamic Center

BOSTON, MA – May 29, 2007 (MASNET) In what has been described as a major victory for religious freedom and civil rights, the Muslim American Society (MAS) and its Freedom Foundation have provided the primary leadership, support, and strategy on behalf of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) in achieving a major victory and settling a four-year legal battle, which attempted to stop the building of the largest Islamic center on the east coast.

The Islamic Society of Boston’s Islamic Center, which is being constructed in the Roxbury section of Boston, had been under a multi-level campaign of negative reporting and disinformation. These efforts resulted in a lawsuit initiated by the David Project, and filed by James Policastro. The law suit sought to stop the completion of the Islamic center. Consequently, a law suit was filed on behalf of the ISB against the David Project, Inc., Citizens for Peace and Tolerance and other related defendants. Today, the Muslim American Society, America’s largest grass roots Muslim organization announced that the ISB, the David Project, Inc., and Citizens for Peace and Tolerance, have ended all litigations against each other including James Policastro’s suit against the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Roxbury Community College and the Islamic Society of Boston.

MAS and its Freedom Foundation was instrumental in bringing together various religious communities in the Boston area and developing an outreach strategy that focused on embracing diversity and fostering mutual respect and trust. "As MAS, we were able to overcome a strong and divisive element in the Boston community that had tremendous legal and financial resources. This element, led by the David Project, had extended its vast resources toward stopping the construction of the new ISB Islamic Center. We at MAS were adamant in our defense of the right of Muslims in this country to build mosques and were determined not to let the David Project use dilatory legal tactics in stopping the completion of this magnificent Islamic Center I think that this settlement is indicative of the fact that we achieved our overall goals of protecting religious freedom and Muslim's civil rights by providing factual information about the ISB, and Muslim houses of worship, reducing tensions between various communities, and complying with the express wishes of the Boston's Mayor Thomas M. Menino, for all sides to come to some type of negotiated settlement", stated M. Bilal Kaleem. The settlement prevents any further legal action by the defendants to stopping the building of the mosque and re-affirms MAS' basic principle for the respect and sanctity of all houses of worship. The construction of the mosque is ongoing, and on June 9 there will be a special celebration for the capping of the minaret (top most portion).

MAS outreach efforts on behalf of the ISB settlement was supported by a diverse coalition which included the Jewish Workman’s Circle, Father Helmick (a specialist in conflict resolution) 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.

The new ISB Islamic Center will provide a place of worship to the ever expanding Muslim population in the area, and serve as an educational resource to universities and other educational institutions. Additionally, the Mosque will house an inter-religious center that will focus on interfaith dialog, research and positive engagement between diverse faith traditions.

The Muslim American Society will hold a press conference on behalf of the ISB, pertaining to this settlement on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. In front of the ISBCC at 1 Malcolm X Blvd, in the Roxbury community.

Get ready for Boston's own Muslim Brotherhood Mosque.

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Breaking: Islamic Society of Boston Drops Lawsuit! Updated with MAS Release.

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15 Comments

Congratulations Sol!!! I'm positive that the blogosphere was instrumental in keeping the story alive. It would've been so easy for it to disappear off the radar once the regular news sources had done their stories. You and Miss Kelly deserve huge kudos for this one. You never let it go. I am so proud to know both of you!

Now I must go congratulate Miss Kelly too!

That's wonderful news! Congrats and thank you and Miss Kelly for covering the story so well.

Sol,
Talk about humiliated! They do it to themselves every time! But isn't it satisfying that you helped?

Mazal Tov to all the defendants, especially Anna Kolodner.

God shed his grace on thee. Your determination and hard work have won the day! :-)

Solomonia and the David Project have performed an amazing public service to the community. As we just remembered on memorial day, this country has a selfless tradition of good people taking upon themselves to protect good and fight evil.

>>Expect things to take a turn with the ISB even more self-cast in the roll of the victim.

Sorry, just have to point out, that should be "role" of the victim. It should be an easy fix.

Correction appreciated.

I am glad to see an end to all of this litigation. Now, what can be done to repair the damage it did to local Jewish-Muslim relations?

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Steve

Congratulations to The David Project, Charles Jacobs, Anna Kolodner, and all the other wonderful people at DP.

A million thanks to Miss Kelly and Sol for keeping us in the know and doing all the fact digging and checking, analysis, and reporting on this matter (among many other matters).

No matter how the ISB and MAS presented the matter while trying to keep a poker face -- "declare victory and depart the field" press release (Sol), which is very reminiscent of statements by Ron Francis, SDP & Co. in the wake of their defeat in Somerville: we lost, therefore we won -- this should be a major blow to their self-esteem.

After all, theirs is an honor-shame culture, and there was none of the honor, and all of the shame in the outcome. I sure am gloating :-)

You may have noticed that they ALWAYS do this -- they can't admit defeat, and must ALWAYS "reframe" (Jeff Halper, where art thou?) the issue to prove that black is white, left is right, and right is wrong. Agitprop at its most primitive and deceitful. They do an even worse job of it than the commies did back in the bad old USSR.

To Ron Newman:

"I am glad to see an end to all of this litigation. Now, what can be done to repair the damage it did to local Jewish-Muslim relations?"

Ron, get over it, won't you? Why do we have to bend over backwards to accommodate people who hate us, despise us, and want to subjugate us, convert us, or see us dead and gone?

The only people who fueled these so-called "local Jewish-Muslim relations" were (in the words of Miss Kelly) "a handful of leftist activist groups, including Marxist/Socialist anti-war groups":

ISB/MAS:

"MAS outreach efforts on behalf of the ISB settlement was supported by a diverse coalition which included the Jewish Workman's Circle, Father Helmick (a specialist in conflict resolution) 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."

Miss Kelly, fisking that report:

"These groups represent about as small a segment of the Boston population as the MAS does. You've got a handful of leftist activist groups, including Marxist/Socialist anti-war groups, and you pretend you've got a"diverse coalition." Nonsense. No major Jewish groups, no Catholic groups (there is no "Archdiocese of St. Francis of Assisi" of the Catholic Church, despite its name, it's a schismatic sect), no Protestant groups, who are you kidding?"

Brava, Miss Kelly! Bravo, Sol! Boo, Ron Newman.

Greetings from Jerusalem,
Seva

Although the David Project can claim a small victory concerning the withdraw of the lawsuit, the battle is still being won by the Islamic Society of Boston with the building of this major intrusion called a Mosque into our society. Very soon, this Islamic Center will be another magnet for want-to-be terrorists and preachers of hate for every freedom our society stands for; the major funding by these stealth Saudi Arabian ‘non-profit’ societies will make it even easier for the Arab PAC’s that will spring up throughout Boston buying their way into office. One only has to look at the state of Michigan as an example; or should I say the “Islamic state of Michigan.”

The day the construction is finish on this Islamic Center, like every other Mosque and Islamic Center around the world, the loud speakers will come to life making life miserable for every non-believer within miles of this center of hate but our laws will protect these terrorist and haters of America while the Wahhabi Imams will preach words violence inside the center in Arabic. While the Muslim PR spin doctors will speak the words of tolerance to the public, the Muslim children will be taught the Koran, the terrorist manual to heaven.

As an Ex-pat that has lived in Muslim countries and immersed myself in both the Muslim culture and Muslim neighborhoods, it is clear to me that with every Mosque that is built in our country, Islam is one step closer to obtaining their goal of chancing our society into another Sharia based society with the called of prayer being blasted over this Mosque over loud speakers into our living rooms 5-7 times a day regardless of your beliefs because after all, it’s part of their culture and beliefs so who are we to stop them.

Ask yourself, did we really win?

There has to be some sort of noise pollution ordinance that can apply here. Muslims can do their "call" to prayer as a cell phone call and not disturb others.

How would Muslims feel if Jews blew the shofar 5 times a day over a loud speaker, within earshot of Muslims?

Presumably whatever local ordinance regulates the timing and loudness of church bells can also apply here.

There are already other mosques in the Boston area; has this become an issue in any of their surrounding neighborhoods?

"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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