Boston Islamic Center Still at Standstill

March 25, 2006

Source: The Pueblo Chieftain

Wire Service: AP

On March 25, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "The groundbreaking for a towering new mosque in [Boston's] Roxbury neighborhood was like a sigh of relief for local Muslims. After a decade of delays, Muslims who had worshipped in mosques so cramped some were forced to pray in parking lots looked forward to sharing the massive building. They also welcomed the community’s pledges of unity - [coming] barely a year after the 9/11 terror attacks... Now, more than three years later, the Mosque and Cultural Center is unfinished and funding has dried up. Media reports linking the mosque’s builder, the Islamic Society of Boston, to Muslim extremists have led to defamation suits. A project that was supposed to signal openness has become a symbol of chronic mistrust... About a year after the groundbreaking, the Boston Herald wrote the first reports connecting the Islamic society to extremists, including Abdurahman Alamoudi, one of the society’s founders... Critics say the Islamic society never explained such ties or distanced itself from hateful rhetoric. Then, they allege, it punished private citizens who were asking legitimate questions about the ISB and the new mosque by including them in a defamation suit filed last year against media outlets... An offer by the Islamic society early this month to resolve the defamation lawsuits through mediation hasn’t been acted on. [Also], interfaith talks between the ISB and local Jewish groups ended."