Jewish media in the U.S. are reporting that the Imam of a Boston mosque attended by one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was replaced by the Massachusetts governor as a speaker at the interfaith service for the victims held last week. According to a Jewish Journal report:
April 19, 2013 The imam of a mosque that is managed by the Muslim Brotherhood-founded Muslim American Society (MAS) was initially invited to speak at Thursday’s interfaith service in Boston to honor the Boston Marathon attack’s victims, but that invitation was later rescinded by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s office, JNS.org has learned.
The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center’s (ISBCC) Imam Suhaib Webb, according to a series of Twitter posts, was replaced as the representative of Boston’s Muslim community at the service—whose keynote speaker was President Barack Obama—in favor of Nasser Wedaddy, director of civil rights outreach for the American Islamic Congress and chair of the New England Interfaith Council.
Webb posted on his Twitter account Thursday, ‘Sorry, Muhammad Wedaddy from the American Islamic Congress will represent Boston Muslims.’ Asked by another Twitter user who Wedaddy was, Webb wrote, ‘No idea. I was informed last night at 9pm that he was replacing me? lets focus on the service.’ Webb later tweeted, ‘I was told the governor’s office made the call.’According to the website of ISBCC, located in Roxbury Crossing, Mass., the mosque is ‘currently being managed administratively by MAS-Boston. As such, the board members of MAS-Boston are your board members!’
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The Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) is drawing national attention after it was revealed that according to mosque officials Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two bombing suspects and who was killed by police, was ejected from the ISB mosque after he stood up and shouted at the imam during a Friday service. Reuters has published an article which, aside from looking at possible reasons for the radicalization of Tsarnaev, also provides details about his attendance at the ISB mosque.
In December 2011, the Boston Globe published a profile of William Suhaib Webb, the new imam of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) but neglected to mention his longtime involvement with the Muslim American Society (MAS). In 2008, Egyptian media reported that Imam Webb’s training at Al-Azhar was sponsored by the MAS and that upon his return to the U.S., he and the MAS planned to establish “a foreign version of Al-Azhar.” In addition, Imam Webb was also a former lecturer at the Islamic American University (IAU) in California which originated as a project of the MAS. Imam Webb’s ties to the MAS, a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closely connected to the Egyptian organization, are not surprising given that the Islamic Society of Boston has long-standing relations with the Global Muslim Brotherhood. In 2003, the Boston Herald reported on ties between the ISB and Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders Youssef Qaradawi and Abdurahman Alamoudi later imprisoned by the U.S. in connection with a Libyan plot to assassinate then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah:
…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.
In 2008, the Boston Phoenix published an investigative report on the Roxbury Mosque which was turned over to the MAS by the ISB.