Boston--June 9--The Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) decided to settle
with the David Project, with both parties agreeing to drop all
lawsuits including the suit filed by James Policastro to attempt to
get the Roxbury mosque torn down. No future litigation can be brought
against the mosque.
Interfaith director Jessica Masse said, "The ISB has made its point,
which was never about monetary gain, and was always about standing up for the right of its community to worship freely. We will now focus on strengthening our ties with the broader community, and in particular, the interfaith community."
Masse thanked the interfaith community for having the courage to the
stand with the ISB when no one else would.
ISB Director, Dr. Yousef Abou-Allaban stated, "We have achieved
multiple victories in court… The decisions of the Massachusetts judges
who issued rulings in these cases affirming our rights should be read
by all citizens. But now we want to move forward."
The ISB held a press conference on Wednesday, May 30 at the mosque
site in Roxbury and on June 9 held a "Faith and Unity March" and
"Minaret Capping Festival" attended by over 2000 visitors, including
Policastro said it was a beautiful ceremony, reported the Boston Globe.
A copper cap, affixed with an American flag, was lifted by crane and
attached by workmen to the top of the minaret in front of the crowd as a symbol for the Muslim community's addition to the American melting pot.
Imam Basyouny Nehala called the adhan from the minaret for the first time.
The 70,000-square-foot mosque, which has taken two decades to
complete, plans to open this Ramadan.
Muslim American Society Boston's executive director Bilal Kaleem
expressed his joy.
"The settlement was achieved a couple weeks ago," Kaleem said, "but it
didn't hit home until I saw the 5,000-pound cap of the minaret coming
down slowly with thousands of people praying and crying. It was
beautiful, emotional, and a time of great thankfulness."
Sufia Hassan, whose husband heads Masjid Alhamdulillah in Roxbury,
said their mosque was not originally built as a house of worship.
"This is the first built from the ground up," Hassan said
enthusiastically. "What's nice is that it will bring Muslims from this
country and other countries together."
The New England community has achieved a great milestone in their
dream to build the largest Islamic Center in Greater Boston.