Problem is not with Boston Muslims but with radical leaders

As printed in The Boston Globe

Problem is not with Boston Muslims but with radical leaders

May 05, 2013

Lisa Wangsness and meghan e. Irons cite only me as a critic of the Islamic Society of Boston, whose Cambridge mosque was attended by at least one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers (“Praying for peace — and understanding,” Page A1, April 27). In fact there have been others who have recognized the radical nature of the mosque leadership. The situation today is far different from the time Mayor Menino agreed to subsidize the building of the Islamic Society of Boston’s Saudi-funded mosque, and when many in the Jewish community embraced the mosque’s leaders.

Imam William Suhaib Webb, of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury, was conspicuously excluded from representing the Muslim community at the memorial service for the victims of the Marathon bombing.

A few months ago, Northeastern University dismissed Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, a frequent spokesperson for the Islamic Society of Boston, from his role as Muslim student chaplain after we released a video of Faaruuq urging Muslim students at Northeastern to support terror suspect Tarek Mehanna, and telling a gathering at a mosque that “it’s time to pick up the gun and the sword and go out and do your job.”

Finally, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Combined Jewish Philanthropy have significantly diminished their participation in dialogue with the Islamic Society of Boston.

In an effort not to offend the local Muslim community, there has been a reluctance by civic leadership to speak publicly about the extremist nature of the mosque’s leaders. The problem is not with the majority of Boston Muslims, but with their radical leaders. It is time to address this sensitive issue.

Charles Jacobs


Americans for Peace and Tolerance


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