A Muslim group planning to build the Northeast’s largest mosque has ties to an Egyptian cleric who advocates suicide bombing and an American Muslim lobbyist indicted in a Justice probe accusing him of terrorist financing.
Dr. Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi, a vocal supporter of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi, founder of the Washington, D.C.-based American Muslim Council, are linked to the Islamic Society of Boston, which has approval to build a $22 million Islamic cultural center and mosque in the city, according to an investigation by the Boston Herald.
Abdul Rahman Alamoudi (Photo: IslamOnline.net)
The State Department barred al-Qaradawi from entering the U.S. four years ago because of his support of Hamas. Banned from his native Egypt for his leadership in the Muslim Brotherhood, he hosts one of the Middle East’s most popular television shows on the al-Jazeera network. On the programs, he praises Palestinian suicide bombers as “martyrs,” denounces U.S. support of Israel and encourages Muslims to support jihad as combatants or financial contributors.
Alamoudi, arrested Sept. 28 at Dulles airport in Washington, has been charged with receiving cash from the Libyan mission to the United Nations and failing to disclose numerous trips to Libya. He also has voiced support for Hamas, along with Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.
The U.S. government alleges he funneled more than $230,000 to two front organizations for Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network and more than $100,000 to groups funding Hamas.
The Islamic Society of Boston insists it is not an extremist group, but Alamoudi is its founder and al-Qaradawi was a member of its board of directors from at least 1998 until sometime in 2001, according to public records, the Herald said.
The group identified al-Qaradawi as one of its four directors in its income tax return filed two months before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. His name did not appear in July 2002, however, when the group filed its 2001 income tax return, the Boston paper reported.
Al-Qaradawi also is involved in Bank al-Taqwa, accused by the U.S. Treasury Department of financing al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, the Herald said.
Albert Farrah, a lawyer for the Islamic Society of Boston, minimized al-Qaradawi’s involvement in the society.
“He’s not a director of the Islamic Society,” Farrah told the Herald. “I know the trustees and have known them since 1993 and I’ve never met him. He has nothing to do with this project to my knowledge.”
The group said in a statement to the paper it has a policy of “disallowing groups or individuals with extremist views from having any forum for their divisive and destructive rhetoric at the Society’s mosque” in Cambridge, Mass.
The group said Alamoudi was one of its founding members, but “has had no role in, or affiliation with, the ISB for approximately 20 years.”
The Herald reported, however, most of the funding for the mosque project has come from the Middle East.
One source familiar with the project, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the paper nearly all the financing comes from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Gulf states.
The Herald notes, almost without exception the financing of the many mosques and Islamic institutions in the U.S. by Saudis is tied to the strict, anti-Western Wahhabi movement of Islam.
“Saudis and Gulf financiers are strongly nationalistic and therefore will not give money to those who do not support their line of reasoning,” Dr. Khaleel Mohammed, a religion scholar at San Diego State University who studied for eight years in Saudi Arabia, told the Herald.