Excusez moi?? The MAS claims "victory" when the ISB withdraws its lawsuit against the 17 Defendants? Now there's a creative spin. And I bet Mahdi Bray's wife is ..... ah, Morgan Fairchild, yeah, that's the ticket. The MAS Freedom Foundation press release is chock full of misstatements and distortions. From their press release (with my comments in italics):
"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."
Wrong. It wasn't "settled," the lawsuit was withdrawn by the ISB. No victory for you. How much did the ISB pay the MAS for that "leadership" and "strategy"? What separates your two organizations anyway?
"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 (hardly!) and disinformation (pot, ketttle, black)."
"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."
Wrong. The lawsuit was to question the transfer of property from the Boston Redevlopment Authority (BRA) to the ISB, at what were substantially below market rates. The lawsuit alleged that the property tranfer was an unconstitutional subsidy of one religious sect. The judge's ruling on it last February noted that the lawsuit has standing and merit, but it was filed after the public comment period. And that was before all the stuff came out about BRA Assistant Director Muhammed Ali-Salaam's role.....
"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."
Wrong. The ISB withdrew its lawsuits against the 17 defendants. Aside from The David Project suing the BRA for release of documents, no other defendants were suing anybody. The David Project's lawsuit with the BRA is proceeding. There was no other litigation going on. What a misleading statement!
Who says the Muslim American Society is America's largest "grass roots" Muslim organization? What makes that so? How many members does the MAS have? Who are they to claim to represent American Muslims? Like CAIR, they only represent their own members, who are in fact few in number. More PR to puff themselves up and appear to be a significant force. Piffle.
"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."
Meaningless babble. Where was the MAS when former ISB trustee Walid Fitaihi was claiming that 'Jews in Israel have perpetrated the worst of evils and they have brought the worst corruption to earth'? Why do Islamic groups only care about outreach to Jews and Christians anyway? Why no interest in any other religions? We're all God's children, aren't we?
"As MAS, we were able to overcome a strong and divisive element in the Boston community that had tremendous legal and financial resources."
Look who's talking! Who's paying the ISB's legal fees? How much have they spent on their intimidation campaign? Two million? Three million? And where exactly does MAS get its funding? How much of your funding come from KSA sources?
"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."
What "settlement"? There was no negotiated settlement. This is a mendacious statement at best. Others might call it fabrication. The lawsuit wasn't against building a mosque or Muslim's civil rights, no matter how hard the MAS wants to play the victim card. It came about because of highly questionable associations of the ISB to Islamist radicals (Abdurahman Alamoudi, Sheik Al-Qaradawi, Salah Soltan, etc.) and organizations, as well as questions about funding and influence from Saudi Wahabi sources. The funding and staffing of mosques by Saudi Arabia was identified in the 911 Commission Report as a source of radicalism and terrorism in our country. The reporters, TV stations, citizens groups and individuals that the ISB sued were asking exactly the right questions. What has come out during the discovery process proved that these concerns were warranted.
"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."
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?
"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..."
That's if you think an Islamic shariah law library and lectures on the history of Islam in Africa are a public benefit. They are not. They are a benefit to Muslims, which is what the ISB repeatedly stated it wanted out of this transaction in their internal memos, that the mosque construction should benefit the ummah, hire members of the ummah, and provide scholarships to Muslims only. I do not wish my tax dollars to subsidize shariah law libraries or to subsidize proseletyzing.
"....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 same "diverse" faith traditions mentioned above? More leftists, anti-war and anti-Israel groups? Frankly, I don't care much about interfaith dialogue. I'd like to see Muslims take their place along with other religions in our pluralistic society that respects all religions (not just the so-called Abrahamic faiths, as if Buddhists, Hindus and atheists are worthless).
Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to God that which is God's. Do your faith quietly, on your own time, and on your own dime, supported by funds raised in the U.S., not from Middle Eastern countries that have no religious freedom. If Americans can't build a church in Saudi Arabia, then Saudi Arabians shouldn't be able to build mosques here. Very simple.
"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."
More self-serving PR, as the MAS claims "victory" for the ISB. How do you say "chutzpah" in Arabic?