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Mosque on hold

THE STORY on the lawsuit filed against us by the Islamic Society of Boston (''Praised by beacon, mosque project stalls amid rancor," Page A1, Dec. 18) did mention that the society's founder, Abdurahman Alamoudi, raised money for Al Qaeda and is in jail (in connection with a plot to assassinate a Saudi prince). But the story omitted even more worrisome facts.

The society's leaders have praised suicide bombers and called for attacks on Americans. A website in Qatar associated with society trustee Yousef al-Qaradawi, an internationally known leader of extremists, calls for gays to be executed by either stoning or burning. Al-Qaradawi has been barred from the United States. The society website praises as ''very good" a book that refers to the women's liberation movement as a ''Jewish plot" to corrupt society and argues that wife-beating is at times necessary. The library of the society's current Cambridge mosque contains literature containing vitriol directed against Christians, Jews, and Americans. While mosque spokesmen speak of ''dialogue" and tolerance, Qaradawi says ''there is no dialogue between us [and the Jews] except by the sword and the rifle.' "

As citizens, we were concerned. We wanted the society to answer simple questions, questions that it took pains to avoid answering. As a result, we have been sued by the society and forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars to defend ourselves. This is not a case about Boston bigots with discriminatory suspicions. It is a case of citizens rightfully worried that their city might be importing -- and subsidizing -- hatred and misogyny with links to terror.

The David Project

GREAT ARTICLE on the problems that the Islamic Society of Boston is having with contruction of its mosque in Roxbury (Page A1, Dec. 18).

Islamic organizations have used lawsuits and threat of litigation to silence their critics, and it looks as if that's been counterproductive.

I have sympathy for Muslims who just want a beautiful mosque in which to worship. This is a difficult time for them. However, it's not a ''witch hunt" or ''Islamophobia" to ask questions about who is connected to the Islamic Society, where the money is coming from, why did the BRA gave a the society a sweet deal and is the BRA using taxpayers' dollars to subsidize Islamic proselytizing? These are reasonable questions to ask.


YVONNE ABRAHAM'S and Stephen Kurkjian's article about the mosque made me sad.

Many Christians had admired the progress and anticipated the opening of a much-needed place in Roxbury for Muslims to worship, as well as the Islamic Society of Boston's plans for bridging understanding between Muslims and others. Yet the society's efforts have come to a halt partly because of an individual's recent lawsuit about the land deal, and, earlier, some dug-up and rather remote claims of ties to Muslim extremists.

As sad as the society's not even being able to get bank loans to finish building the Mosque and Cultural Center is what the society's assistant director Salma Kazmi said is a reluctance of second- and third-generation Muslims in Boston to seek leadership in its organization because of the organization's now-tainted image.

The Globe has done a good job with its balanced update on this important project.


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