Boston Mosque Rises Above the Fray

July 12, 2007

Author: Jane Lampman

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

More than 2,000 people gathered in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood last month for a highly symbolic moment – the capping of the minaret on a new mosque. A joyous occasion, the event sparked greater emotion than usual because construction of the Islamic Society of Boston's Mosque and Cultural Center had been stalled for more than two years – and had seemed in jeopardy. Controversy over allegations that the mosque had ties to terrorism had mushroomed into lawsuits and poisoned relations among the city's Jewish and Muslim communities.

The lawsuits have now been settled, thanks in part to interfaith efforts for more than a year to bring the litigants together. Some in the Jewish community say, however, that difficult questions still stand in the way of restoring relations with the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB). Others see the opportunity for a fresh start to break down suspicions and distrust through renewed dialogue.