On Tuesday March 22nd, the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) hosted an event with the notorious Islamist preacher, Zaid Shakir, who lectured on the “Islamic sciences.”
Shakir has a long history of promoting and defending violently extremist ideas. In an article titled, “Muslim involvement in the American political process”, Shakir wrote that Muslims should reject “the legal and political system of America”, which is “sinful and constitutes open rebellion against Allah.”
He argues that “Islam presents an absolutist political agenda, or one which doesn’t lend itself to compromise”, and that because Islamist involvement in politics has largely failed, Muslims should not discount violence, citing examples such as the Taliban’s “armed struggle” in Afghanistan.
He further warns against “seeking the help of,” or “befriending,” the “kuffar, Jews and Christians.”
Ultimately, Shakir has concluded, the goal of American Muslims should be “the establishment of Islam and shari’ah in America,” employing methods “ranging from non-cooperation tactics to guerrilla war can bring about favorable policies from a governmental system, or even lead to the eradication of that system.”
Elsewhere, Shakir has argued that “Zionists” and the FBI were responsible for the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing, that there were “glaring weaknesses and inconsistencies in the official narrative” of the 9/11 attacks, and has claimed that the jihadist Luqman Ameen Abdullah, who died after attempting to shoot FBI agents, was the victim of a “self-serving racist agenda.”
Zaid Shakir is a perfect speaker for the ISB — an institution established by extremists, run by extremists and with a track record of promoting and hosting extremists.
The ISB was founded by the Al Qaeda operative Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was jailed in 2004 for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. The ISB’s listed trustees have included prominent Islamist operatives, including Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. And in 2008, the Muslim American Society, which runs the ISB’s Cultural Center, was labelled by federal prosecutors “as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”
In October 2015, the ISB hosted a two-day conference with two preachers who advocated sex slavery, the killing of apostates and violence against women.
In March, Americans for Peace and Tolerance revealed that the ISB had established an education program apparently designed to radicalise Muslim youth, which featured texts advocating jihad, written by some of the 20th century’s most prominent Islamist ideologues. Some of these texts would later be quoted by Boston bomber and ISB attendee Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as he hid from law enforcement hours after murdering four and injuring hundreds.
Despite all of this, (and much more), the ISB remains the darling of the political and media elite. Last month, Boston Police Commissioner voiced his support for the ISB, telling his audience that “We’re all Muslims deep down … We all yearn for peace.”
For Massachusetts’s historically moderate Muslim communities, abandoned by civic leaders and falsely represented by the ISB extremists, the future looks particularly bleak.