Caught red-handed: Boston Redevelopment Authority documents show favorable treatment given to Islamic Society of Boston
The David Project website has just posted an explosive series of documents relating to the highly questionable favorable deal given to the Islamic Society of Boston to build their new mosque there: “*New* Recently disclosed Boston Redevelopment Authority (“BRA”) documents.” All of these are clickable and viewable at the David Project site. Note especially the first two, and also number six. Number six shows the use of Boston Redevelopment Authority stationery by Islamic Society of Boston officials with no position at the BRA. It conveys $10,000 in Islamic Society funds to the Roxbury Community College to the President of the Roxbury Community College, and asks that the contribution be kept “anonymous.”
The following recently disclosed Boston Redevelopment Authority (“BRA”) documents were the subject of the March 4, 2006 Boston Globe article entitled “Aide’s role in mosque deal eyed“:
1. March 29, 2000 document signed by Muhammed Ali Salaam, Deputy Director for Planning at the BRA, stating that the estimated fair market value of the public land to be transferred to the Islamic Society of Boston was $2,010,966.
2. August 2000 Agreement between the BRA and the Islamic Society stipulating that the fair market value of the land would be treated as $401,000, and that the land would be transferred to the Islamic Society for $175,000, as well as the Islamic Society’s agreement to fundraise for the Roxbury Community College Foundation and establish a lecture series and library on Islamic issues.
3. December, 1999 Request by the Islamic Society that Mr. Ali Salaam, a BRA official with responsibility for overseeing the Islamic Society’s proposal to the BRA to obtain public land, travel to the Middle East for 10 days as a “governmental representative” in order to assist the Islamic Society with its fundraising effort. The Islamic Society agrees to pay for Mr. Ali Salaam’s trip to the Middle East to assist in this effort.
4. January, 2000 Approval by the BRA retroactively approving Mr. Ali Salaam’s trip to the Middle East to assist in the fundraising effort in the United Arab Emirates, and reflects that his airfare will be paid by the Islamic Society. The documents do not reflect who if anyone paid for Mr. Ali Salaam’s lodging, travel, food and entertainment during the approximately 10 days that he was in the Middle East assisting in the fundraising effort.
5. February 2000 Islamic Society newsletter highlighting the Islamic Society’s “Overseas Fundraising Efforts”, and stating that Mr. Ali Salaam “worked hard during Ramadan to solicit funds from overseas”, and that he was one of the Islamic Society’s representatives who “took on” fundraising in certain Middle Eastern countries.
6. December 9, 2000 letter written on official BRA stationery, signed by Mr. Ali Salaam and signed as well by two Islamic Society officials with no position at the BRA, conveying $10,000 in Islamic Society funds to the Roxbury Community College to the President of the Roxbury Community College, and asking that the contribution be kept “anonymous”.
7. February 26, 1999 Confidential Memorandum from Mr. Ali Salaam to the Board of Directors of the Islamic Society, counseling the Board on ways of obtaining favorable review of the Islamic Society proposal to the BRA; “as long as the City feels we [are] working cooperatively and making measured progress, then they will continue to work with us.”
8. May 5, 1999 letter written by Mr. Ali Salaam on BRA stationery to a potential contractor for the Islamic Society of Boston, referred to by Mr. Ali Salaam as “the Client”, and, on behalf of the Islamic Society, instructing the contractor to revise its bid to do work for the Islamic Society and to submit the revised bid to Mr. Ali Salaam.