Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has replaced a Marathon Bombing Memorial speaker, Imâm Suhaib Webb (William Webb from Oklahoma – also known as Imâm Will – see background below), with Imâm Nasser Wedaddy. Webb is the Imâm of a Muslim American Society (MAS) mosque, The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), the largest mosque in New England and where Tamerlan and Dzhohar Tsarnaev sometimes attended Friday prayers. An elder at the ISBCC Mosque said sometime around Martin Luther King Day, Tamerlan stood up and objected to MLK being compared to the Prophet Muhammad.
Mosque leaders later sat down with Tamerlan and discussed his rant, said Kazmi, who said Tamerlan returned to future services and had no further outbursts. Source: Leader Post
Enraged, Tamerlan stood up and began shouting, Muhammad said.
“You cannot mention this guy because he’s not a Muslim!” Muhammad recalled Tamerlan shouting, shocking others in attendance.
“He’s crazy to me,” Muhammad said. “He had an anger inside.… I can’t explain what was in his mind.”
The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, also known as the Roxbury Mosque, was controversial from the beginning:
Originally intended to minister to an urban congregation of African-American Muslims, the mosque project was turned over by the city, with no fanfare and little notice, to the control of suburban-based Muslims of largely Saudi Arabian heritage: the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), which more recently became the Muslim American Society of Boston (MAS-Boston). Perhaps the city believed, incorrectly, that one Muslim community could easily step in for another. In fact, the two groups are quite different.
If it was not, however, for the generosity of conservative Middle Eastern Muslims (often a euphemism for those who are hostile to or suspicious of Westerners and Americans), the mosque never would have been built. Most of the cost, estimated at $15.6 million by MAS-Boston, has come from Egyptian, Saudi, and other Arab donors.
Despite some early success in raising funds, the mosque still owes at least $200,000 to contractors for work already performed, and has no money to finish the job. A lien was placed against the property earlier this year by a contractor who has not been fully paid. It also owes $1 million in loans to various private and commercial leaders. And these incurred costs are just for the project’s still-incomplete first phase. Source 2008 Investigative Project
The MAS was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood and MAS leaders routinely praise Palestian jihad, including suicide bombers, has supported Hamas and Hizballah. Notorious Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Qatar cleric has been closely affiliated with the ISBCC and up to 2000 was listed as an Officer, Trustee and Key Employee of the mosque. Al-Qaradawi. Yusuf al-Qaradawi is another story, and a mean one.
MAS, according to the research of watchdog organizations including the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel history that started with its founding by members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas.
In June 2009, Boston-based APT issued a press release expressing concern that Governor Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino accepted invitations to be honored guests at the ISBCC’s grand opening in Roxbury Crossing. APT noted that another Islamic Society of Boston mosque, in Cambridge, Mass., hosted a sermon by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, a Holocaust denier who has “claimed that Jews want to destroy Muslims, and called all non-Muslims (including Jews and Christians) a ‘spiritually filthy substance’ whose lives and property hold no value and are forfeit to Muslims during Jihad.” Source: JNS.org
The point to take home here is that the ISBCC is well-connected to the wrong people and Governor Patrick was smart to remove Suhaib “Will” Webb from the speaker’s list.
Imâm Wedaddy is the director of civil rights outreach for the American Islamic Congress and chair of the New England Interfaith Council.
Nasser Weddady directs outreach for HAMSA. A native of Mauritania, Nasser grew up in Libya and Syria, traveling extensively through the Middle East. A long-time activist in the struggle to end slavery in his homeland, Nasser has organized conferences for young activists across the Middle East; published in the International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Baltimore Sun; appeared on Fox, BBC World Service, Al Jazeera, and Radio Liberty; and testified to Congress’ Human Rights Caucus. Fluent in five languages, Nasser has lectured at the US Institute of Peace and diverse interfaith settings.
Imam Wedaddy addressed the Interfaith Service at The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston after the bombings. See that video below and note that he clutches as he calls the bombings “criminal.” Having said that, I find nothing militant or radical about Wedaddy.
About the American Islamic Congress, on which Board Dr. M. Zhudi Jasser sits – he might be familiar to you as he often appears on Fox News:
He [Jasser] testified during Rep. Peter King’s hearings on the lack of cooperation from the Muslim community in rooting out extremism. He also sits on the board of the American Islamic Congress, an organization with over 2,000 supporters in the U.S. and a $780,000 annual budget. The moderate Muslim group rejects Sharia-based governance and advocates separation of mosque and state. It has started four university chapters to compete with the Muslim Students Association, a Muslim Brotherhood front, and has even opened up an office in Egypt. One program is called “No Buts” and it encourages Muslims to reject any rationalization for acts of terrorism. Source: FrontPageMagazine
However, Jasser was rejected for a position in the U.S. State Department, which would have placed him among many Muslims working for or with the Obama administration:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recognized Jasser’s importance in the ideological struggle and nominated him for the State Department’s U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. He went through a seemingly endless series of interviews and paperwork submissions, successfully passing each stage and receiving a top-secret security clearance. This 15-month process has finally come to an end with Jasser simply being told that he has been “removed from consideration.” Senator Jon Kyl says that “the Obama administration has chosen to sideline Dr. Jasser.” Source: FrontPageMagazine
According to the LA Times article linked above, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also attended The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center mosque. The Center is pledging to leave “no stone unturned in finding any other suspects connected to the bombs.”
But Mary Silberman, who lives directly behind the brothers’ building, had a less positive impression of her neighbors. “It’s such a strange household,” she said.
Silberman’s bedroom window was at nearly the same level as the Tsarnaevs’ third-floor unit. She often heard the family during the summer when windows were left open.
“At odd hours, you’d hear screaming,” she said, saying the fights would occur close to midnight or in the early morning hours.
“It wasn’t enough to call the cops,” Silberman said. “With domestic affairs, it’s such a fine line. It’s not like I’d hear anything thrashing or hear anyone being punched.”
But even if the fights weren’t violent, they were loud, punctuated by a female voice yelling and a baby wailing.
Tamerlan’s wife, Katherine Russell, and her infant daughter were a more visible presence on the block, Silberman said. Russell wore a hijab that covered her head and neck.
“It was very common to see her walking the baby,” said Silberman, who also had a young child and sometimes tried to engage Russell when they crossed paths. “There was not much conversation at all,” she said, describing her demeanor as “pleasant, but timid.”
More about Imâm Suhaib Webb, aka William Webb. His grandfather is/was a Christian pastor. Webb converted to Islam in 1992, became an Imâm in Oklahoma City. He taught at Mercy School, an Islamic K-12 school there. He studied from 2004 – 2010 in the College of Shari`ah at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo. The Muslim American Society funded much of his higher education in Egypt. He was named on of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center. He has publicly condemned Holocaust deniers, and he won “Best Muslim Tweeter” in 2010.