Islamic Society Drops Lawsuit

May 30, 2007

Author: Donovan Slack

Source: The Boston Globe

The Islamic Society of Boston agreed yesterday to drop a lawsuit alleging that 16 individuals and entities, including The Boston Herald and Fox 25-TV , conspired to publish and broadcast false and defamatory statements about the society.

Both sides in the lawsuit claimed victory yesterday, the Islamic Society because the deal also brought to an end a related lawsuit that threatened construction of a mosque in Roxbury and the defendants because the Islamic Society never collected a penny for alleged libel from the media organizations and a Jewish group.

A lawyer for the society hailed the dismissals, saying they meant the local Muslim group would now be able to go forward with construction of the mosque.

"Now is the time to move on," lawyer Albert L. Farrah Jr. said.

The defamation suit, filed in 2005, asserted that news outlets and Jewish advocacy groups orchestrated a media campaign to halt mosque construction, falsely linking Islamic society leaders with terrorist groups. The yearslong legal battle damaged relations between local Muslim and Jewish communities and prompted calls for mediation from other religious leaders. It was unclear whether yesterday's dismissals will help mend the rift.