From the Boston Herald:
Radical imam OK but not Chick-fil-A
Given his stance on Chick-fil-A, would Mayor Tom Menino grant permits to a group that has counted among its leaders a man who has repeatedly called homosexuality a “crime that must be punished” by death?
Actually, he has done that . . . and more! Menino effectively gave away city land valued at $1.8 million to the organization, and he gave a speech at its ribbon-cutting ceremony.
It’s the Islamic Society of Boston’s mosque, and when it comes to anti-gay sentiment, one of its early supporters makes Chick-fil-A look like the Provincetown Men’s Chorus.
During the (understandable) controversy over the city selling land for a house of worship at a below-market rate a decade ago, reporters discovered that the Islamic Society of Boston counted imam Yusef al-Qaradawi as one of its spiritual guides. As the Weekly Standard reported at the time:
“The ISB does not dispute the fact that they have repeatedly used al-Qaradawi as a tool to raise funds for the Boston mosque, printing a brochure that highlighted al-Qaradawi’s enthusiastic support of the mosque and playing a videotaped message of support from him at a 2002 gathering.”
Also in attendance at the gathering, listening to al-Qaradawi’s message: Mayor Tom Menino.
Outside Boston, al-Qaradawi is better known as a vocal supporter of terrorism who teaches a hard-core version of Islam. His claim to fame as a “progressive” is that he was the first prominent imam to urge women to become suicide bombers, too.
It was only when his terror support became known that the Islamic Society of Boston announced that epeated listings of al-Qaradawi as an ISB trustee had been a mistake.
But nobody’s accusing Chick-fil-A of supporting terrorism — just traditional marriage (I think liberals still see the former as more dangerous). Menino heard the president of the company call same-sex marriage a “sin,” and he announced it would not be allowed to do business in Boston.
OK, Mr. Mayor. But when you gave all that land to the ISB at a song, here’s what imam al-Qaradawi was teaching:
“[A homosexual should be given] the same punishment as any sexual pervert . . . Some say we should throw them from a high place, like God did with the people of Sodom. Some say we should burn them.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League, “In 2003 Qaradawi stated on IslamOnline that the punishment of homosexuality is the death penalty.”
In the end, says the anti-Islamist organization MEMRI, al-Qaradawi came down on the side of stoning.
Hey — say what you want about Chick-fil-A, but they aren’t trying to kill anyone. Other than, perhaps, via hardening of the arteries.
Chick-fil-A wants to come to Boston, pay taxes and put people to work. Menino says “no” because the CEO thinks same-sex marriage is wrong.
But that same mayor was all but giving away city land to the Islamic Society of Boston, even as they were presenting as one of their spiritual guides an imam who says homosexuals should be killed.
And this makes sense . . . how?
The mayor’s office did not respond to my repeated requests for an explanation of this apparent double standard yesterday. However, the mayor did finally admit that his threats against Chick-fil-A were empty. Other than sending a letter to the restaurant’s potential landlord asking that they be turned away, he has no power to stop them from legally conducting business in Boston.
So why did he say otherwise?
“I make mistakes all the time,” he told the Herald. “That’s a Menino-ism.”
When even you admit your own name is a synonym for “Boy, that was dumb,” it’s time to start re-thinking before you speak.
Michael Graham hosts an afternoon drive-time talk show on 96.9 WTKK.