Recent appointment of former head of terrorist-linked mosque to major city government post met with silence from Jewish leaders.
On May 26, Boston’s mayor Michelle Wu announced the appointment of Yusufi Vali — formerly executive director of the terrorist-linked Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) mega-mosque — as her deputy chief of staff.
“His experience with — & commitment to — our communities,” Wu wrote on Facebook, “will help our administration build a stronger Boston together.”
Stronger for whom?
Vali is a former trustee of Boston’s branch of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group that federal prosecutors described in 2008 as the “overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.” The Muslim Brotherhood is the world’s most powerful Sunni Islamic political organization, founded in Egypt in 1928 to spread submission to Islamic law (Shari‘ah) across the planet and subjugate non-Muslim civilization through both violent and non-violent means. Muslim Brotherhood offshoots include al-Qa‘idah, Hamas, and ISIS.
During his tenure, Vali helped turn the ISBCC into a mainstream institution within Boston, in no insignificant part by convincing willfully blind Jewish leaders to vouch for the organization as “moderate.” Without Jewish leadership’s stamp of approval, gaining acceptance into Boston’s civil society may not have been possible: After all, if Boston’s Jews, whom everyone knew had more skin in the game than any other ethnic group, told the public that the ISBCC was kosher, most would accept that as a recommendation upon which they could rely.
Vali emerged as a leading light of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO). He MC-ed for and attended numerous “interfaith” events, often at local synagogues, where he successfully charmed Boston rabbis and Jewish leaders into believing that the ISBCC is a harmless center of worship, and that its extensive ties to Islamic terrorism are non-existent or irrelevant.
What Vali hid from the people he charmed was that, out of their sight, the ISBCC headlined many events featuring speakers who, for example, maintain that adulteresses must be “stoned to death,” and that Islamic sex slavery is defensible. (Vali volunteered on Twitter that he is friends with both the clerics who made those particular statements.) Vali also hired an imam who has written that the “assembly of Jews” is the “most disgusting of the creation to me” because the Jews “killed the prophets of Allaah.”
Americans for Peace and Tolerance presented local Jewish leaders with much of this information again and again over the years and received the same response: arrogant, dismissive disinterest — if not outright denunciations which could be described fairly as a kind of Jewish fatwa against us. Their view, intimated and expressed out loud, was, “If we’re nice to them, they will be nice to us.”
In fact, Jeremy Burton, executive director of Boston’s JCRC, has openly tweeted praise for Vali on multiple occasions, calling him “my friend,” and even criticizing the UAE’s decision in 2014 to designate the MAS, of which Vali was a trustee, as a terrorist organization.
This is not surprising: Burton has also deceived the Jewish community about the anti-Semitic nature of Newton public school curricula. He met with the Jewish mother of a Newton student who showed him her son’s workbooks and assignments and convinced him there was indeed a big problem, after which he promised her and APT he would publicly recant his organization’s whitewashing of the curriculum. Two weeks after that promise, he sheepishly admitted to APT that the JCRC board (his bosses) refused to allow him to do this, as it would reveal how wrong they were about such an important matter.
Sadly, it is not surprising that, though they know Yusufi Vali should be nowhere near the power on Beacon Hill, Boston’s Jewish leaders are silent on his appointment — and have not condemned it, as they should.
Please send this discussion to Boston’s Jewish leaders with a (polite) email asking them to take the ramifications of Mayor Wu’s decision seriously.
• Rabbi Marc Baker
President and CEO of CJP:
• Robert Trestan
New England ADL Regional Director:
• Jeremy Burton
Boston JCRC Executive Director:
• Robert Leikind
American Jewish Committee Boston Office: