Skip to comments.Radical Islam: Outspoken cleric, jailed activist tied to new Hub mosque [Boston]
Posted on 10/28/2003 2:45:28 PM PST by aculeus
The Islamic organization poised to build the largest mosque in the Northeast on a site in Roxbury has long-standing ties to an Egyptian cleric who praises suicide bombings and a Muslim activist indicted last week in a terrorism financing probe.
The Islamic Society of Boston, which has city approval to build a sprawling $22 million Islamic cultural center and mosque on Malcolm X Boulevard, has had a long association with Dr. Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi, whose vocal support of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas prompted the State Department to bar him from entering the U.S. four years ago.
The local religious organization, now headquartered on Prospect Street in Cambridge, was founded by Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi - a high-profile Washington, D.C. activist who has publicly supported Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.
Alamoudi was arrested Sept. 28 at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and charged with making illegal trips to Libya and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Libyan government in violation of U.S. law.
Last Thursday, Alamoudi was indicted for his dealings with Libya and portrayed by prosecutors as a key financier for militant Islamic groups and terrorist organizations.
In that case, the U.S. government alleges Alamoudi funneled more than $230,000 to two front organizations for terrorist Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, as well as more than $100,000 to groups funding Hamas.
A lawyer representing the Islamic Society of Boston said the local group is not militant or extremist, and is in no way connected to Islamic terrorism.
However, public records indicate Al-Qaradawi and Alamoudi have both held leadership positions with the Islamic Society of Boston.
Alamoudi, of Falls Church, Va., founded the Islamic Society of Boston in Massachusetts in 1982 and was the group's first president, according to incorporation records in the Secretary of State's office.
Al-Qaradawi, who is based in Doha, Qatar, was listed as a member of the Islamic Society of Boston's board of directors from at least 1998 until sometime in 2001. In 1993, when the Islamic Society of Boston set up a real estate trust, it identified al-Qaradawi as a ``proposed additional trustee,'' records show.
The cleric never became a trustee of that real estate trust, which now holds title to the land on Malcolm X Boulevard where the new Islamic center is to be built.
The Islamic Society of Boston identified al-Qaradawi as one of its four directors in its income tax return filed two months before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
In July 2002, when the group filed its 2001 income tax return, however, al-Qaradawi's name no longer appeared on the list of directors.
A leading voice of the fundamentalist Wahhabi sect of Islam, al-Qaradawi is also a high-ranking member of the oldest radical Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. He was banned from his native Egypt in 1962 and moved to Doha, where he now hosts one of the most popular television shows in the Middle East on the al-Jazeera television network.
On his show and in speeches and interviews, al-Qaradawi praises Palestinian suicide bombers, declaring they are martyrs, not terrorists. He also regularly denounces U.S. support of Israel and encourages Muslims to either join the Jihad as combatants or contribute money to finance it.
One alleged terrorism financier recently convicted of violating immigration laws in Virginia, Soliman S. Biheiri, described al-Qaradawi as a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood who is ``virulently anti-American,'' according to a Sept. 11 court affidavit by senior special agent David Kane of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Al-Qaradawi is also involved in Bank al-Taqwa, which the U.S. Treasury Department says has financed numerous Islamic terrorist groups, including Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
In testimony before Congress last year, international terrorism expert Steven Emerson said that as of Dec. 31, 1999, al-Qaradawi was one of the largest shareholders in Bank al-Taqwa. The cleric is also a member of the bank's Shari'ah Board, which oversees al-Taqwa's transactions to make sure they conform to Islamic law, Emerson said.
Youssef M. Nada, chairman of al-Taqwa, told the Arab daily newspaper al-Hayat in December 1997 that since its inception, al-Taqwa has ``placed all its transactions under the control of Sheik Yussef al-Qardawi.''
Al-Qaradawi and Alamoudi could not be reached for comment.
A lawyer for the Islamic Society of Boston, Albert Farrah, downplayed al-Qaradawi's involvement in the organization.
``He's not a director of the Islamic Society,'' Farrah said. ``I know the trustees and have known them since 1993 and I've never met him. He has nothing to do with this project to my knowledge.''
In a statement released to the Herald yesterday, the group said the following: ``The ISB has a policy of disallowing groups or individuals with extremist views from having any forum for their divisive and destructive rhetoric at the Society's mosque in Cambridge.
``Dr. Yousef al-Quaradawi has never played any role in the ISB. In 1993, before any controversy surrounded Dr. al-Quaradawi, the ISB considered inviting him to serve as an honorary member of our Board of Trustees. However, in the end he was not invited to serve on the ISB board, but due to an administrative oversight, was listed on our tax returns until 2000.
``Abdulrahman Alamoudi was one of the founding members of the ISB. He has had no role in, or affiliation with, the ISB for approximately 20 years.''
Middle East money
The Islamic Society has been attempting to raise the money necessary to build the Islamic center for the last several years, and according to several sources most, if not all of the project's financing has come from the Middle East.
A project update in the Islamic Society of Boston's May 2000 newsletter reported that in the previous month alone, the group raised $2 million in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states.
One source familiar with the project who spoke on the condition he not be named said the leaders of the Islamic society have made it clear that virtually all the financing for the cultural center is coming from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Gulf states.
Many mosques and Islamic institutions in the U.S. are funded by wealthy individuals and foundations in Saudi Arabia. Those financiers are almost without exception followers of Wahhabism, a harsh Saudi-based fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, and they make sure the American mosques they bankroll adhere to the sect's anti-Western ideology.
``Saudis and Gulf financiers are strongly nationalistic and therefore will not give money to those who do not support their line of reasoning,'' said Dr. Khaleel Mohammed, an assistant professor of religious studies at San Diego State University who studied for eight years in Saudi Arabia and taught at Brandeis University.
The result, said some Muslim activists, is that many mosques in the U.S. are disconnected from the majority of the American Muslims they supposedly serve.
``It has created this phenomenon of Muslims without mosques, and I would say the Islamic Society (of Boston) is no exception,'' said one Muslim activist who declined to be identified. ``The mosque is being paid for with money from the Middle East and it's connected to a larger agenda.''
That agenda is ``fundamental Islamist politics, anti-Semitic and anti-American in many ways,'' the Muslim activist said.
Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, president of the Islamic Council of New England and an Afro-American Muslim, said he knows the leaders of the Islamic Society of Boston and said that while most of them are from overseas, he does not view them as radicals or fundamentalists, but ``traditional Muslims'' like himself.
``I see them as a very balanced group trying to find their way in America,'' Faaruuq said. ``The ISB is doing good work. They are not a threat to me or my country.''
Faaruuq said he was not aware that al-Qaradawi was listed as a director of the Islamic Society of Boston.
He added, however, that last year he attended a fund-raiser for the Islamic Society of Boston's cultural center project at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston at which al-Qaradawi, who is barred from entering the U.S., delivered a videotaped message to the attendees encouraging them to support the project.
Farrah said he has no knowledge of the al-Qaradawi videotape, but confirmed the Islamic Society of Boston held a fund-raiser for the new cultural center at the Sheraton in November 2002, a few hours after the project's ceremonial groundbreaking in Roxbury.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority granted the Islamic Society of Boston final designation as developer of the Islamic Center in August 2000 and at the groundbreaking in November last year the project was hailed by Massachusetts politicians as a bridge between Islam and Boston's other religions.
``Boston is now and always has been a city of vibrant faith communities,'' Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a prepared statement. ``By creating a space for inter-faith dialog, this center will bring both the Muslim community and the community at large closer together.''
U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Somerville) also attended the ceremony. He said the new Islamic cultural center will ``help to create a dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims so we may learn more about each others' traditions.''
In May, the BRA sold the 1.9-acre lot to the group for the bargain price of $175,000, but construction has yet to begin. The Islamic Society of Boston's own newsletter said the land is worth $2 million.
Farrah said the ambitious project has been in the works for a decade. Now, he said, the Islamic Society of Boston has all the necessary building permits from the city and the start of work on the site is imminent.
``It's a wonderful project and has a lot of support,'' Farrah said. ``That support is citywide, from the mayor, the BRA and from other religious organizations, particularly after (the terrorist attacks of) 9/11.''
In its statement yesterday, the Islamic Society of Boston said: ``The ISB has a proven history of being an open organization, eager to work with people of all backgrounds. As part of our ten year effort to build the new Cultural Center in Roxbury, we have worked to establish solid relationships with the community and city leaders. We are proud of the contributions our organization has made to the community.''
Farrah praised the group's current leadership. ``I see these people as gentle, kind, religious, peaceful, educated, and wanting to be part of the community,'' he said. ``That's the way the city of Boston sees them and other religious groups see them that way.''
Tomorrow: A current trustee of the Islamic Society of Boston has been named in a federal Islamic terrorism financing investigation.
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Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi
The only bridge that Islam's fanatics won't blow up.
Main Entry: rec·i·proc·i·ty Pronunciation: "re-s&-'prä-s(&-)tE Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural -ties Date: 1766 1 : the quality or state of being reciprocal : mutual dependence, action, or influence 2 : a mutual exchange of privileges; specifically : a recognition by one of two countries or institutions of the validity of licenses or privileges granted by the other
Until we have a mutual exchange of PRIVILEGES with the countries that wish to build there religieous structures here in America, we as a nation will daily face danger from Islam!
This terror mosque and 'cultural center' should never start construction.
Death to terrorists.
Speaking of al Taqwa:
1960s : (GERMAN NEONAZI HUBER CONVERTS TO ISLAM -- See AL TAQWA, NADA MANAGEMENT, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, IRAQ) The Simon Wiesenthal Center reports that Huber is a 74-year-old neo-Nazi who converted to Islam in the 1960s. The Chronicle of Foreign Service, published in Bern, Switzerland, says Huber has praised Adolf Hitler and the Ayatollah Khomeini and has been quoted as saying: "We will bring down the Israel lobby and change foreign policy. We'll do it in America. When it happens you'll understand." Huber also has been quoted as saying, "Muslims and Nazis were involved in the same fight." The Link between Iraq and Al Qaida Insight Magazine ^ | Sept 2003 | Scott Wheeler
1980s late : (AL TAQWA IS CREATED BY MEMBERS OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, See NADA MANAGEMENT, AHMED HUBER, NEONAZIS) Documents obtained by Insight say that al-Taqwa was created in the late 1980s by trusted members of a secretive Islamic extremist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is "dedicated to the overthrow of Western nations and the creation of a worldwide Islamic government." ------ "The Link between Iraq and Al Qaida," Insight Magazine ^ | Sept 2003 | Scott Wheeler
NOVEMBER 8, 2001 : (SWITZERLAND : AUTHORITIES RAID AHMED HUBER'S HOME - See AL QAEDA, AL TAQWA BANKING GROUP, IRAQ, YOUSSEF NADA, ALI HIMAT, MOHAMMED MANSOUR) Another Swiss financier of neo-Nazi and Islamic terror is Ahmed Huber, (nee Albert Huber), a former journalist who converted to Islam. Swiss authorities raided Huber`s suburban home outside of Berne on November 8, 2001, when U.S. officials identified him as one of the chief financial operators for Al Qaeda. Huber had been very active with the Al Taqwa (literally ``Fear of God``) international banking group, an Islamic terrorist front organization that had been funding the activities of Hamas and other Muslim extremists. According to a report released by Germany`s Bundesamt fuer Verfassungsschutz (``Office for the Protection of the Constitution``), Huber ``sees himself as a mediator between Islam and right-wing groups.``
Huber and others of his ilk have found that Holocaust denial organizations provide the ideal venues for coordinating the efforts of the neo-Nazis and the Islamic terrorists. Indeed, Holocaust denial is the one area in which the beliefs of the neo-Nazis and Islamic terrorists coincide completely. And given the levels of post-9/11 security, international Holocaust denial conferences now have greater importance for planning and coordination among the neo-Nazi/Islamic terrorist networks.
This is due to the unfortunate fact that Holocaust denial organizations have the patina of scholarly respectability. Groups such as the Santa Barbara, California-based Institute for Historical Review produce glossy quasi- academic-style journals complete with footnotes and bibliography and well-designed and user-friendly websites. Holocaust denial groups sponsor international meetings that allow representatives of neo-Nazi and Islamic terrorist groups to meet because they narrowly fall within guidelines in most Western countries allowing for the free exchange of ``ideas.`` And with the current embrace of anti- Semitism by most leftist academics (in addition to their traditional anti-Americanism), there is now often very little difference between the symposia sponsored by officially recognized Middle Eastern Studies organizations in America and Europe and those organized by Holocaust denial groups. While American forces continue to identify and destroy Al Qaeda`s ability to conduct terrorist activities on its own, we must become more vigilant to the increasing possibility of ``terror by hire`` as neo-Nazi and other right- wing extremists step up to fill the void. The next 9/11-style terrorist attack may not be attempted by a keffiya-wearing Arab terrorist spouting quotations from the Koran, but by an IRA terrorist whose services were purchased by a left-wing European intellectual attending a Middle Eastern Studies caucus of some leftist academic group during an annual conference in Omaha or Chicago or San Francisco. -------------Al Qaeda`s Neo-Nazi Connections Jewish Press ^ | 2/25/2004 | William Grim
Many thanks for that info.