August 28, 2014
By Ilya Feoktistov and Charles Jacobs
Functional bias is the assumption that one’s particular skill is the most suitable skill for any problem. Jews are conflict avoiders. We prefer peaceful resolution through dialogue, and therefore want to believe that conflicts can be resolved in that manner. If that happens to not be the case, we often don’t know what to do. Suhaib Webb, the controversial imam of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, which is the biggest mosque in Boston, has announced that he will resign as imam to dedicate his time to training new imams at the ISBCC’s madrassa — the Ella Collins Institute. Ronne Friedman, the rabbi of the biggest synagogue in Boston, Temple Israel, is a fan of Webb, promoting him as a true moderate and friend of the Jews. In January, Friedman welcomed Webb to speak from the bimah at Temple Israel, saying that “we have a great opportunity for true progress in this city because of the current leadership of Imam Webb … [and] his openness to the Jewish community.”
Webb returned the sweetness, calling Rabbi Friedman “a mentor and … a friend and a brave person. …We have to begin to take each other as brothers and sisters … to learn not to believe the things that we are told about each other … to hug each other and love each other…” “Kumbaya”at its best.
That was then. With the Hamas war against Israel, Webb’s moderate “openness” mask has slipped in recent weeks. In a series of increasingly hostile social media posts to his tens of thousands of followers, Webb has been less than brotherly to Jews and Israel. Some examples: “2 children massacred by the Israeli army as it ‘defended itself ’ 2day.” “Modern Israel: Pioneers of Terror in the Holy Land.” “Israel: America’s Frankenstein monster.”
2 children massacred by the Israeli army as it “defended” itself 2day. God! Help Palestine! God! Help the Children! pic.twitter.com/w2XOux8EMB
— Suhaib Webb (@ImamSuhaibWebb) July 21, 2014
— Suhaib Webb (@ImamSuhaibWebb) August 9, 2014
— Suhaib Webb (@ImamSuhaibWebb) July 20, 2014
Webb posted a cartoon of Netanyahu sitting in a Gaza-shaped tub of blood, waving a butcher’s cleaver at screaming children. “Tells the story,” was Webb’s comment on the blood libel.
Webb dishonestly defended Hamas: “It Turns Out Hamas May Not Have Kidnapped and Killed the 3 Israeli Teens After All.” He attacked law enforcement: “US Terrorism Prosecutions Often An Illusion.” He advised Islamic radicals on how to shield themselves from the authorities: “How to spot an FBI informant.” He criticized U.S. air strikes against the ISIS barbarians responsible for crucifixions and beheadings in Iraq, claiming that the reason for the strikes is that America simply wants Iraq’s oil.
— Suhaib Webb (@ImamSuhaibWebb) July 30, 2014
US: Terrorism Prosecutions Often An Illusion http://t.co/9Ba5QCqLER
— Suhaib Webb (@ImamSuhaibWebb) July 24, 2014
— Suhaib Webb (@ImamSuhaibWebb) July 27, 2014
In another instance of common cause with ISIS, which demanded that America release al-Qaida terrorist Aafia Siddiqui in exchange for the life of American journalist James Foley before beheading him, Webb promoted a petition for Siddiqui’s release.
Siddiqui, once an MIT student and later the most wanted woman terrorist in the world, was a worshipper at Webb’s Islamic Society of Boston. She was caught in Afghanistan with plans to poison New York City’s water supply with cyanide. She spent her trial railing against (not loving and hugging!) Jews.
Over the past weeks, Webb raised money for a charity called Islamic Relief, a group Israel banned as a Hamas front after the June murder of three Israeli teenagers, and for American Muslims for Palestine, the Hamas-associated group that founded and operates Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
In 2009, we briefed Friedman on the evidence that Americans for Peace and Tolerance obtained during our lawsuit with the ISB, including the mosque’s connections to terrorism. Friedman told us he wasn’t going to change his mind unless he “saw a smoking gun.” The Boston Marathon bombing suspects attended the ISB’s Cambridge mosque and posed for pictures there with the black flag of Jihad used by groups like ISIS. The smoking guns they allegedly used to murder MIT police officer Sean Collier last year wasn’t enough for our rabbi.
True believers in the cult of “dialogue” will not suffer their beliefs being questioned. After the Marathon bombings, we released videos exposing anti-Semitic and homophobic statements by Webb. We wrote about Webb’s support for a cop killer, his association with Anwar al-Awlaki, and the radical indoctrination curriculum that Webb has endorsed for training Muslim youth.
In response, in a letter to his entire congregation, Friedman complained about a conspiracy “by Charles Jacobs and his minions” to subject “the Imam and the ISBCC … to a withering, pernicious and persistent attack.” Defending Webb, Friedman wrote: “He is clearly seeking relationship with the Jewish community.” Indeed he is; a relationship where naïve Jewish “leaders” signal to the Boston community that Webb is a man to be trusted.
This is not the first time Friedman fell for the deceptions of an ISB leader. In 2004, after he invited ISB trustee Walid Fitaihi to Temple Israel, it emerged that Fitaihi was writing articles in Arabic newspapers calling Jews “rapers of the worshippers of Allah,” who must be “scourged.” Friedman was forced to apologize to the community for legitimizing Fitahi.
The ISB constitutes a vast infiltration tunnel beneath our feet. Boston’s Jewish leaders know about it and Friedman isn’t the only Jewish leader actually helping to dig it. Friedman says the outreach to Webb was done “in close consultation with Jewish community leaders, including Jeremy Burton and Nahma Nadich of JCRC.” We’ve reported the story of Boston’s Anti-Defamation League having hired a terrorist supporter, Bilal Mirza, for its interfaith youth camp. As it turns out, Bilal is in training as an imam at Suhaib Webb’s new madrassa. Would Friedman invite him to his synagogue — to “love and hug” the Jews?
Israel now fully recognizes the danger of the Gaza tunnels. It’s far from clear that Boston’s Jewish leadership has learned a similar lesson about the tunnels in our own community.