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Boston Islamic Center Sues Propagandists

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    ISLAMIC SOCIETY EXPANDS LIBEL SUIT Charles Radin, Boston Globe, 11/1/05
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3 10:11 AM
      Charles Radin, Boston Globe, 11/1/05

      Leaders of the Islamic Society of Boston broadened their defamation
      suit yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court to add conspiracy charges
      against a group of journalists and scholars who the Muslim leaders
      allege sought to ruin the reputations of the society and its leaders
      and prevent construction of a major mosque in Boston.

      The suit expanded upon and incorporated two previously filed lawsuits
      -- the first brought in February against WFXT-TV (Channel 25), and the
      second in May against Channel 25 and the Boston Herald. In those
      earlier suits, leaders of the Islamic Society charged that reports
      broadcast and published in 2003 and 2004 defamed them by falsely
      linking them to Islamic terrorist groups.

      Yesterday's filing alleged that several nonprofit advocacy groups,
      individuals, and reporters, acting out of alleged bias against
      Muslims, conspired to defame the society and its leaders.

      Among newly named defendants:

      Steven Emerson, a Washington-based writer, and his organization, The
      Investigative Project Inc.;

      William R. Sapers, a member of the Board of Trustees of Roxbury
      Community College;

      The David Project Inc., a Boston-based group that focuses on issues
      related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and its director of education,
      Anna Kolodner;

      Citizens for Peace and Tolerance, a Cambridge-based group that has
      questioned whether the leaders of the mosque project were moderate
      Muslims; its president, Boston College political science professor
      Dennis Hale; and its director, Steven A. Cohen.

      The Islamic Society of Boston is the city-designated developer of a
      $22 million mosque, which is under construction on land next to
      Roxbury Community College.

      The suit alleges that Sapers initially attempted to undermine the
      project by damaging the Islamic Society's relations with the college
      through unfounded statements to officials of the college that the
      society's leaders were associated with Muslim terrorist organizations.
      After that effort failed, the plaintiffs allege, Sapers then turned to
      Emerson for assistance ''in an effort to manufacture any negative
      story he could come up with to support the effort to undermine the

      Emerson, a former CNN correspondent who in the mid-1990s won numerous
      investigative journalism awards for his documentary ''Jihad in
      America," was, by the time Sapers sought him out in 2002, ''widely
      regarded as a discredited, biased, self-proclaimed 'expert' on radical
      Islam . . . with a known agenda against Muslims," the suit charges.

      Through the first half of 2003, Emerson and Sapers worked together to
      raise questions about the mosque leadership, the suit asserts. Then
      the two began a series of communications with the Herald, in
      particular with reporter Jonathan Wells, aimed at ''publishing false
      and defamatory statements about the ISB and its leadership in an
      effort to undermine the ISB and its project," the suit states.

      Sapers, Emerson, and Wells -- later joined by Kolodner of the David
      Project and officers of Citizens for Peace and Tolerance -- were
      ''engaged in a coordinated effort to undermine the project" of
      building the mosque, the suit said.

      In response to the lawsuit, Charles Jacobs, president of the David
      Project, said in a statement yesterday that the organization would
      contest the charges and expected the conspiracy allegations ''will be
      found factually and legally frivolous and will be dismissed."

      Herald spokeswoman Gwen Gage said: ''The Herald stands behind its
      reporting on this story, and we will continue to pursue news stories
      with the fairness and thoroughness our readers expect."

      Wells, who now works for WFXT, FOX25, referred questions to the
      station, which said in a statement: ''The complaint . . . contains
      highly inflammatory and false allegations. . . ."

      Both Sapers and Hale said they had not seen the charges. Emerson did
      not return a call requesting comment.


      For more background information on The David Project, a Zionist
      organization which is involved in human trafficking in Sudan see:




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