Cambridge, Mass., “that notorious swamp of redneck bigotry”

April 29, 2013

Out to kill at the Boston marathon

 

* Mark Steyn: “The Tsarnaevs’ mom, now relocated from Cambridge to Makhachkala in delightful Dagestan, told a press conference that she regrets ever having gotten mixed up with those crazy Yanks: ‘I would prefer not to have lived in America,’ she said. Not, I’m sure, as much as the Richard family would have preferred it. Eight-year-old Martin was killed; his sister lost a leg; and his mother suffered serious brain injuries. What did the Richards and some 200 other families do to deserve having a great big hole blown in their lives? Well, according to The New York Times, they and you bear collective responsibility.”

* Steyn: “If I follow correctly, these UCLA profs are arguing that, when some guys go all Allahu Akbar on you and blow up your marathon, that just shows that you lazy complacent Americans need to work even harder at ‘assimilating’ immigrants. After all, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were raised in Cambridge, Mass., a notorious swamp of redneck bigotry where the two young Chechens no doubt felt ‘alienated’ and ‘excluded’ at being surrounded by NPR-listening liberals, cooing, ‘Oh, your family’s from Chechnya? That’s the one next to Slovakia, right? Would you like to come round for a play date and help Jeremiah finish his diversity quilt?’”

* “After Maj. Hasan gunned down 13 of his comrades and an unborn baby, Gen. Casey, the Army’s chief of staff, assured us that it could have been a whole lot worse: ‘What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.’ What happened at Boston was a ‘tragedy,’ but it would be an even greater tragedy if there were to be any honest discussion of Islam.”

* A note on The New York Times and Boston Globe

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* Please also see this previous dispatch on the Boston bombings.

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* You can comment on these dispatches here: www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia. Please also press “Like” on that page.

 

CONTENTS

1. USA Today does the investigative reporting The New York Times declines to do
2. “Did we all fail the Tsarnaevs?” (By Mark Steyn, Orange County Register, April 27, 2013)
3. “Mosque that Boston suspects attended has radical ties” (By Oren Dorell, USA Today, April 23, 2013)


USA TODAY DOES THE INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING THE NEW YORK TIMES DECLINES TO DO

[Note by Tom Gross]

In the piece below, Canadian writer Mark Steyn rightly singles out The New York Times for its dismal coverage of the aftermath of the Boston terror attack.

Mark Steyn’s piece appeared on Friday. Since then, The New York Times has run another very long piece about Boston on its front page yesterday that despite its length, again manages to avoid dealing with the one real cause of the bombing: radical Islamic indoctrination of the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston. (The same piece appears today at the top of Page 1 and continues on most of Page 7 of The International Herald Tribune, a paper soon to be renamed “the international New York Times”.)

The New York Times tells us that no less than 13 reporters worked on the article – six from Boston – and yet there is barely a single word about the new radical mosque in Boston to which the brothers went. Perhaps we should not be surprised: The lead writer of these 13 New York Times reporters is Deborah Sontag – the former Jerusalem correspondent of the New York Times who was notoriously hostile to Israel and soft on Palestinian terrorism.

Sontag and her colleagues argue in their piece that if the U.S. had eased the process of the older Boston bomber to become a U.S. citizen, despite his beating up his girlfriend and being on both the CIA and FBI terrorism watch lists, the Boston bombings wouldn’t have happened.

Similarly a very long piece in the Boston Globe last week, which the paper said was co-authored and researched by an incredible 23 journalists, also avoids discussing the Boston mosque. (The Boston Globe is owned by The New York Times.)

But other papers with far less resources and prestige are doing the reporting that the Times and Globe should be doing. After Mark Steyn’s piece in the Orange County Register, I attach a piece from USA Today titled “Mosque that Boston suspects attended has radical ties” authored by a single journalist with limited help.

Yet unlike the 36 reporters for the Times and Globe, he manages to explain how several people who attended the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Mass., have been investigated for Islamic terrorism, including the mosque’s first president who has been convicted of plotting a murder. And USA Today explains how its sister mosque in Boston, known as the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, has invited guests who have defended terror suspects.

-- Tom Gross


ARTICLES

DID WE ALL FAIL THE TSARNAEVS?

Did we all fail the Tsarnaevs?
By Mark Steyn
Orange County Register
April 27, 2013

One of the most ingenious and effective strategies of the Left on any number of topics is to frame the debate and co-opt the language so effectively that it becomes all but impossible even to discuss the subject honestly. Take the brothers Tsarnaev, the incendiary end of a Chechen family that in very short time has settled aunts, uncles, sisters and more across the map of North America, from Massachusetts to New Jersey to my own hometown of Toronto. Maybe your town has a Tsarnaev, too: There seems to be no shortage of them, except, oddly, back in Chechnya. The Tsarnaevs’ mom, now relocated from Cambridge to Makhachkala in delightful Dagestan, told a press conference the other day that she regrets ever having gotten mixed up with those crazy Yanks: “I would prefer not to have lived in America,” she said.

Not, I’m sure, as much as the Richard family would have preferred it. Eight-year-old Martin was killed; his sister lost a leg; and his mother suffered serious brain injuries. What did the Richards and some 200 other families do to deserve having a great big hole blown in their lives? Well, according to The New York Times, they and you bear collective responsibility. Writing on the op-ed page, Marcello Suarez-Orozco, Dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and Carola Suarez-Orozco, a professor at the same institution, began their ruminations thus:

“The alleged involvement of two ethnic Chechen brothers in the deadly attack at the Boston Marathon last week should prompt Americans to reflect on whether we do an adequate job assimilating immigrants who arrive in the United States as children or teenagers.”

Maybe. Alternatively, the above opening sentence should “prompt Americans to reflect” on whether whoever’s editing America’s newspaper of record these days “does an adequate job” in choosing which pseudo-credentialed experts it farms out its principal analysis on terrorist atrocities to. But, if I follow correctly, these UCLA profs are arguing that, when some guys go all Allahu Akbar on you and blow up your marathon, that just shows that you lazy complacent Americans need to work even harder at “assimilating” “immigrants.” After all, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were raised in Cambridge, Mass., a notorious swamp of redneck bigotry where the two young Chechens no doubt felt “alienated” and “excluded” at being surrounded by NPR-listening liberals, cooing, “Oh, your family’s from Chechnya? That’s the one next to Slovakia, right? Would you like to come round for a play date and help Jeremiah finish his diversity quilt?” Assimilation is hell.

How hard would it be for Americans to be less inadequate when it comes to assimilating otherwise well-adjusted immigrant children? Let us turn once again to Mrs. Tsarnaev:

“They are going to kill him. I don’t care,” she told reporters. “My oldest son is killed, so I don’t care. I don’t care if my youngest son is going to be killed today ...I don’t care if I am going to get killed, too ... and I will say Allahu Akbar!”

You can say it all you want, madam, but everyone knows that “Allahu Akbar” is Arabic for “Nothing to see here.” So, once you’ve cleared the streets of body parts, you inadequate Americans need to re-double your efforts.

There is a stupidity to this, but also a kind of decadence. Until the 1960s, it was assumed by all sovereign states that they had the right to choose which non-nationals were admitted within their borders. Now, to suggest such a thing risks the charge of “nativism,” and to propose that, say, Swedes are easier to assimilate than Chechens is to invite cries of “Racist!” So, when the morgues and emergency rooms are piled high, the only discussion acceptable in polite society is to wonder whether those legless Bostonians should have agitated more forcefully for federally mandated after-school assimilationist basketball programs.

As Ma Tsarnaev’s effusions suggest, at the sharp end of Islamic imperialism, there’s a certain glorying in sacrifice. We’re more fatalistic about it: After Maj. Hasan gunned down 13 of his comrades and an unborn baby, Gen. Casey, the Army’s chief of staff, assured us that it could have been a whole lot worse:

“What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.”

What happened at Boston was a “tragedy,” but it would be an even greater tragedy if there were to be any honest discussion of immigration policy, or Islam, or anything else that matters.

Speaking of glorying in blood, in Philadelphia, the Kermit Gosnell defense rested, without calling either the defendant or any witness to the stand. As I wrote last week, “Doctor” Gosnell is accused of cutting the spinal columns and suctioning out the brains of fully delivered babies. The blogger Pundette listed some questions she would have liked the “doctor” to be asked:

“Why did you chop off and preserve baby hands and feet and display them in jars?”
There seems to be no compelling medical reason for Gosnell’s extensive collection, but bottled baby feet certainly make a novelty paperweight or doorstop. “I think we already know the answer,” wrote the Pundette. “He enjoyed it.”

Unlike the Boston bombings, even the New York Times op-ed team can’t figure out a line on this. Better to look away, and ignore the story. America is the abortion mill of the developed world. In Western Europe, the state is yet squeamish enough to insist that the act be confined to 12 weeks (France) or 13 (Italy), with mandatory counseling (Germany), or up to 18 if approved by a government “commission” (Norway). Granted, many of these “safeguards” are pro forma and honored in the breach, but that’s preferable to America, where they’re honored in the breech, and the distinction between abortion and infanticide depends on whether the “doctor” gets to the baby’s skull before it’s cleared the cervix. The Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney sat in on a conference call with Dr. Tracy Weitz of the University of California, San Francisco:

“When a procedure that usually involves the collapsing of the skull is done, it’s usually done when the fetus is still in the uterus, not when the fetus has been delivered. ... So, in terms of thinking about the difference between the way abortion providers who do later abortions in the United States practice, and this particular practice, they are completely worlds apart.”

Technically, they’re only inches apart. So what’s the big deal? The skull is collapsed in order to make it easier to clear the cervix. Once a healthy baby is out on the table and you cut his spinal column, there’s no need to suck out his brains and cave in his skull. But “Dr.” Gosnell seems to have got a kick out of it, so why not?

You can understand why American progressivism would rather avert its gaze. Out there among the abortion absolutists, they’re happy to chit-chat about the acceptable parameters of the “collapsing of the skull,” but the informed general-interest reader would rather it all stayed at the woozy, blurry “woman’s right to choose” level.

We’re collapsing our own skulls here – the parameters in which we allow ourselves to think about abortion, welfare, immigration, terrorism, Islam shrink remorselessly, not least at the congressional level. Maybe if we didn’t collapse the skulls of so many black babies in Philadelphia, we wouldn’t need to import so many excitable young Chechens. But that’s thinking outside the box, and the box is getting ever smaller, like a nice, cozy cocoon in which we’re always warm and safe. Like – what’s the word? – a womb.

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Tom Gross adds: Personally I think bringing the debate about abortion into this piece was unnecessary.

 

MOSQUE THAT BOSTON SUSPECTS ATTENDED HAS RADICAL TIES

Mosque that Boston suspects attended has radical ties
By Oren Dorell
USA Today
April 23, 2013

Terror suspects, fugitives and radical speakers have passed through the Cambridge mosque that the Tsarnaev brothers are known to have visited.

BOSTON — The mosque attended by the two brothers accused in the Boston Marathon bombing has been associated with other terrorist suspects, has invited radical speakers to a sister mosque in Boston and is affiliated with a Muslim group that critics say nurses grievances that can lead to extremism.

Several people who attended the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Mass., have been investigated for Islamic terrorism, including a conviction of the mosque’s first president, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, in connection with an assassination plot against a Saudi prince.

And its sister mosque in Boston, known as the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, has invited guests who have defended terror suspects. A former trustee appears in a series of videos in which he advocates treating gays as criminals, says husbands should sometimes beat their wives and calls on Allah (God) to kill Zionists and Jews, according to Americans for Peace and Tolerance, an interfaith group that has investigated the mosques.

The head of the group is among critics who say the mosques teach a brand of Islamic thought that encourages grievances against the West, distrust of law enforcement and opposition to Western forms of government, dress and social values.

“We don’t know where these boys were radicalized,” says the head of the group, Charles Jacobs. “But this mosque has a curriculum that radicalizes people. Other people have been radicalized there.”

Yusufi Vali, executive director at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, insists his mosque does not spread radical ideology and cannot be blamed for the acts of a few worshipers.

“If there were really any worry about us being extreme,” Vali said, U.S. law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and Departments of Justice and Homeland Security would not partner with the Muslim American Society and the Boston mosque in conducting monthly meetings that have been ongoing for four years, he said, in an apparent reference to U.S. government outreach programs in the Muslim community.

The Cambridge and Boston mosques, separated by the Charles River, are owned by the same entity but managed individually. The imam of the Cambridge mosque, Sheik Basyouny Nehela, is on the board of directors of the Boston mosque.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, attended the Cambridge mosque for services and are accused of setting two bombs that killed three people and injured at least 264 others at the April 15 Boston Marathon.

The FBI has not indicated that either mosque was involved in any criminal activity. But mosque attendees and officials have been implicated in terrorist activity.

• Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who signed the articles of incorporation as the Cambridge mosque’s president, was sentenced to 23 years in federal court in Alexandria, Va., in 2004 for his role as a facilitator in what federal prosecutors called a Libyan assassination plot against then-Saudi crown prince Abdullah. Abdullah is now the Saudi king.

• Aafia Siddiqui, who occasionally prayed at the Cambridge mosque, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2008 while in possession of cyanide canisters and plans for a chemical attack in New York City. She tried to grab a rifle while in detention and shot at military officers and FBI agents, for which she was convicted in New York in 2010 and is serving an 86-year sentence.

• Tarek Mehanna, who worshiped at the Cambridge mosque, was sentenced in 2012 to 17 years in prison for conspiring to aid al-Qaeda. Mehanna had traveled to Yemen to seek terrorist training and plotted to use automatic weapons to shoot up a mall in the Boston suburbs, federal investigators in Boston alleged.

• Ahmad Abousamra, the son of a former vice president of the Muslim American Society Boston Abdul-Badi Abousamra, was identified by the FBI as Mehanna’s co-conspirator. He fled to Syria and is wanted by the FBI on charges of providing support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill Americans in a foreign country.

• Jamal Badawi of Canada, a former trustee of the Islamic Society of Boston Trust, which owns both mosques, was named as a non-indicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial in Texas over the funneling of money to Hamas, which is the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

What both mosques have in common is an affiliation with the Muslim American Society, an organization founded in 1993 that describes itself as an American Islamic revival movement. It has also been described by federal prosecutors in court as the “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood, which calls for Islamic law and is the parent organization of Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group.

Critics say the Muslim American Society promotes a fraught relationship with the United States, expressed in part by the pattern discussed by Americans for Progress and Tolerance in which adherents are made to feel cut off from their home country and to identify with a global Islamist political community rather than with America.

Zhudi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, says the radical teachings often follow a theme of recitation of grievances that Islam has with the West, advocacy against U.S. foreign policy and terrorist prosecutions, and efforts “to evangelize Islam in order to improve Western society that is secularized,” he says.

Jasser, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and author of the 2012 book A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot Fights to Save His Faith, says the teachings make some followers feel “like their national identity is completely absent and hollow, and that vacuum can be filled by (radical) Islamic ideology, which is supremacist and looks upon the West as evil.”

The Cambridge mosque was founded in 1982 by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard and several other Boston-area schools, according to a profile by the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. Its members founded the sister mosque in Boston in 2009.

The leadership of the two mosques is intertwined and the ideology they teach is the same, Jacobs says. Ilya Feoktistov, director of research at Americans for Peace and Tolerance, says much of the money to create the Boston mosque came not from local Muslims but from foreign sources.

More than half of the $15.5 million used to found the Boston mosque came from Saudi sources, Feoktistov said, who cites financial documents that Jacobs’ group obtained when the mosque sued it for defamation. The lawsuit was later dropped.

But Vali said the vast majority of total donors were in the United States and that “no donations were accepted if the donor wanted to have any decision-making influence (even if benign).”

Vali characterized Americans for Peace and Tolerance and its founder, Jacobs, as anti-Muslim activists who spread “lies and half-truths in order to attack and marginalize much of the local Muslim community and many of its institutions.”

“It’s the new McCarthyism in full swing,” he said.

Sheik Basyouny Nehela, the imam of the Cambridge mosque, which is located across the Charles River from Boston, is on the board of directors for the Muslim American Society of Boston, which runs the Boston mosque. The Tsarnaevs attended the Cambridge mosque.

A statement issued by the Cambridge mosque say the Tsarnaev brothers were “occasional visitors” and the mosque’s office manager, Nichole Mossalam, said neither brother expressed radical views. “They never exhibited any violent sentiments or behaviors. Otherwise, they would have been reported,” Mossalam said.

The Cambridge mosque says Tsarnaev, 26, who died Thursday night in a shootout with police, “disagreed with the moderate American-Islamic theology” of the mosque. Tsarnaev challenged an imam who said in his sermon that it was appropriate to celebrate U.S. national holidays and was told to stop such outbursts, the mosque said in a statement.

Talal Eid, a Muslim chaplain at Brandeis University, says focusing on individual radicals that prayed in a building is unfair.

“In 2011, the two brothers were right under the nose of the FBI and they didn’t find anything,” Eid said, who never met the Tsarnaevs. “How do you want me as an imam to know enough to tell them they are not welcome here? How can I figure out those people have that kind of criminal intent?”

The Muslim American Society says on its website that it is independent of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, early Brotherhood literature is considered “the foundational texts for the intellectual component for Islamic work in America,” the website states.

Jacobs says claims of moderate Islam do not square with the mosque’s classic jihadi texts in its library and its hosting of radical speakers.

Jacobs said Ahmed Mansour, his co-director at Americans for Peace and Tolerance, found writings by Syed Qutb, the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and other jihadi texts at the Cambridge mosque’s library when Mansour went there in 2003. Qutb pioneered the radical violent ideology espoused by al-Qaeda.

Yusuf al Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader who espouses radical views in videos collected by Jacobs’ group, was listed as a trustee on the Cambridge mosque’s IRS filings until 2000, and on the mosque’s website until 2003, when he addressed congregants via recorded video message to raise money for the Boston mosque, according to a screenshot of the announcement that Feoktistov provided.

But Vali said Qaradawi was listed as an honorary trustee years ago only because his scholarship and high esteem in Muslim circles would help with fundraising.

Yasir Qadhi, who lectured at the Boston mosque in April 2009, has advocated replacing U.S. democracy with Islamic rule and called Christians “filthy” polytheists whose “life and prosperity … holds no value in the state of Jihad,” according to a video obtained by Jacobs’ group.

Vali said Qadhi was a guest of a non-profit that was renting space at the Boston mosque and changed his views since that video was made.

But Jacobs and others say it is not only renters who express sympathetic views for terrorists. Leaders of the Boston and Cambridge mosques, and invited guests, have advocated on behalf of convicted terrorists, urging followers to seek their release or lenient sentences.

Imam Abdullah Faaruuq, sometimes a spokesman for the Boston mosque, used Siddiqui’s case to speak against the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism law passed under the Bush administration. “After they’re done with (Siddiqui) they are going to come to your door if they feel like it,” he said according to a video obtained by Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

Anwar Kazmi, a member of the Cambridge mosque’s board of trustees, called for leniency for Mehanna and Siddiqui at a Boston rally in February 2012, in a video posted to YouTube. He characterized Siddiqui’s 86-year sentence as excessive.

In an interview with USA TODAY, Kazmi insisted that the Cambridge mosque is moderate and condemns the bombings. On Monday, the mosque e-mailed members to caution them that the FBI may question them and that they may want to seek representation.

“This kind of violence, terrorism, it’s just completely contrary to the spirit of Islam,” Kasmi said. “The words in the Quran say if anybody kills even a single human being without just cause, it’s as if you’ve killed all of humanity.”

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.