When early news reports noted that Qaradawi had been listed for years as an ISB trustee, that a pitch had been used by him in fundraising materials, and that he had appeared in a videotaped message at a mosque fundraiser (he had been banned from the United States by the Clinton administration), a mosque spokesperson responded:
Dr. al-Qaradawi has never held a position of leadership with the Islamic Society of Boston.
Dr. al-Qaradawi was invited to become an honorary trustee of the Society because of popularity within the Muslim community [emphasis mine]. This invitation was extended long before he was considered a controversial figure and was refused per Dr. al-Qaradawi’s apparent policy not to hold such positions.
Imagine, if you will, the media outcry were followers of David Duke to start construction of a mega-church on government-subsidized land in the city of Boston. There wouldn’t be enough ink in Inkville for the size of the headlines the Boston Globe would put out on the subject. Do they make font faces that big? There’d be a run on cardboard for all the signs the demonstrators would be carrying. Ah, but those would be radical Christians, not Muslims. Christian bigots are fair game, but when it comes to Muslim radicalism, political correctness rules and we’re all in the outer limits, where someone else’s hands are on both the horizontal and the vertical. The only transmission the MAS has to make is a generic denial, most recently in the form of an insipid whitewash of a film on the subject. In a post-lawsuit environment, that’s been more than enough.
After all, wouldn’t be comfortable to ask too many questions; might ruin our interfaith events, don’t you know …
Funny thing about sweeping problems under the rug — that lump never really goes away, and eventually someone’s liable to trip. After all the denials of the mosque being used for radical teaching, we come to find out that ISB imam Basyouny Nehela will be teaching classes under the auspices of Qaradawi’s own school of Islam in the United States, the Islamic American University. It’s to be a twelve-week course in da’wa (Islamic proselytizing).
The IAU was founded by the viciously anti-Semitic and anti-American Salah Soltan (also spelled “Sultan”; for background, see here for a search at my blog on the name; see here for Patrick Poole’s exposé here at Pajamas). Its vice chairman is ISB trustee, former Muslim Brotherhood director, and unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial Jamal Badawi.
Finally, the IAU’s chairman is none other than Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi himself.
Prior to the mosque’s completion, two previous spokespeople assured the community that they had no plans to broadcast an audible call to prayer (adhan) outside the grounds of the mosque. Now that the mosque construction has been completed, those assurances have been conveniently forgotten.
Likewise, when mosque leadership was in a more vulnerable position, they did everything they could to sit on the Qaradawi connection. But now that folks are feeling more secure, we begin to see just whose brand of Islam will be taught in Roxbury, and ecumenical isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind.