Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles in metro area Boston.

Opponents to Boston Mosque Launch Website in Support of Cause

Source: The Boston Globe

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/10/05/groups_website_challenges_mosque/

On October 5, 2004 The Boston Globe reported, “a group opposing the Islamic Society of Boston’s proposed $22 million mosque in Roxbury yesterday launched a website citing published allegations that the society is linked to terrorists and accusing it of teaching a radical Islamic message. Organizers of the website, sponsored by a group calling itself Citizens for Peace and Tolerance, planned to hold a news conference today to announce efforts to ‘break the silence’ surrounding the Islamic Society’s Cultural Center project under construction on Malcolm X Boulevard… Leaders of the group say they want to know whether certain mosque leaders and founders have links to terrorist organizations, as the Boston Herald and Fox News have reported.”

Radical Muslim Leader Tied to Roxbury Mosque

Source: The Boston Herald

http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=2500

On March 8, 2004 The Boston Herald reported in the second of a two part series, that “one of the Muslim leaders behind the new mosque planned for Roxbury has written a series of anti-Jewish articles in Arabic, including one in which he condemns Jews as the people who ‘killed prophets.’
Dr. Walid Ahmad Fitaihi, a longtime director of the Islamic Society of Boston who recently moved back to his native Saudi Arabia, also wrote that Jews are in the midst of committing a ‘second transgression’ and will soon suffer a major defeat at the hands of Muslims.
Armed with the support of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Islamic Society of Boston is set to begin building the largest mosque in the Northeast on land it obtained from the city on Malcolm X Boulevard… Seth Gitell, a spokesman for Menino, said the mayor does not believe the Islamic Society of Boston ‘should be tainted by one or two individuals.”
‘We don’t have independent confirmation of those comments, but he (Menino) doesn’t find those comments representative of that community,” Gitell said.”

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Boston Mosque Tied to Extremist Muslim Cleric

Source: Boston Herald

http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=2466&format

On March 7, 2004 Boston Herald reported in the first of a two part series that “a towering new mosque soon to join the Boston skyline has the secret endorsement of a radical, anti-Western cleric who preaches Muslims will one day ‘conquer’ the United States.
The endorsement of the $22 million mosque and cultural center project in Roxbury by the cleric, Dr. Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi, appears prominently in an Arabic-language brochure published last year by the Islamic Society of Boston, which is the group Mayor Thomas M. Menino has approved to construct the mosque.
Al-Qaradawi’s enthusiastic backing of the project is nowhere to be found in the group’s English-language brochure…      
The influential Qatar-based cleric is best known for his public support of the terrorist group Hamas and his religious rulings applauding suicide bombings, positions which caused the U.S. State Department in 1999 to bar him from entering the United States.
Beyond that, however, al-Qaradawi also promises that eventually Islam will prevail over all other religions and a single Islamic state will rule the world.”

Professor Reconnects to Religion of the Yoruba People of Nigeria

Source: The Boston Globe

On October 26, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that “Tony Van Der Meer was raised a Baptist, but years ago, friends introduced him to the religion of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The Yoruba revere family and ancestors. Van Der Meer, 48, an African studies professor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, says he saw a powerful demonstration of his new faith a decade ago involving his father, a man he barely knew. The Yoruba believe in a supreme god and more than 400 lesser divinities, called orishas, each with its own priests and sects. Yoruban religion holds that the universe is divided between benevolent and malevolent divinities. Ancestors are part of the benevolent half of the universe.”

Cambridge Center for Adult Education Holds Conference on Role of Ancestors in African Ritual and Art

Source: The Boston Globe

On October 26, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that “last week, the Cambridge Center for Adult Education devoted its second annual conference on African ritual and art to the role of ancestors. The conference ‘focused on seeing how the traditions from Africa, transplanted in the Western Hemisphere… still have influence,’ says Cambridge Center spokesman Jim Smith… Dragged from Africa during slavery, the Yoruba brought religious beliefs that couldn’t be suffocated… The Yoruba believe in a supreme god and mo

re than 400 lesser divinities called orishas, each with its own priests and sects. Yoruban religion holds that the universe is divided between benevolent and malevolent divinities. Ancestors are part of the benevolent half of the universe… If religious beliefs are for the Yoruba the synapses of cultural memory, they also are a reminder of the similarities among different faiths. ‘Most religions lead back to the same sorts of ideas,’ says Joe Platz [a drum maker who lives near Springfield]. In his book, Abimbola, using language Christians would recognize, says that ‘there is a crying need for a new covenant based on the energy of Ifa which is a peaceful, intellectual and tranquil energy… We must seek a new way of life if we all want to survive in the world.'”

Hate Crimes Soar in Massachusetts

Source: The Boston Herald

On September 25, 2002 The Boston Herald reported that “the number of hate crimes in Massachusetts rose dramatically in the year of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, largely as a result of a backlash against Muslims and Arabs, according to a new state report. A total of 576 incidents were reported in 2001, up 24 percent from the 463 reported in 2000, according to the Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes. Among them were 133 crimes motivated by religious bias, a 43 percent increase over the previous year’s 93, mostly due to a 10-fold increase in anti-Islamic incidents. Those attacks soared from three in 2000 to 30 last year, causing crimes based on religious affiliation to surpass those based on sexual orientation to become the second most common type of bias, behind only race, ethnicity or national origin, the task force found.”