More on the close, perhaps too close, relationship between the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Islamic Society of Boston. Did a city official get a free trip in whole or partial payment for the sweetheart real estate deal the ISB received from the city?
“BRA official’s travels to Middle East raise accounting questions,” by Charles A. Radin in the Boston Globe, with thanks to Libbie:
A critic of the Islamic Society of Boston’s efforts to construct a mosque at Roxbury Crossing demanded yesterday that the society and the Boston Redevelopment Authority reveal who paid the expenses of the BRA deputy director who traveled to the Middle East on behalf of the mosque project.
The David Project, a Jewish advocacy group, said in a press release yesterday that the BRA deputy director, Mohammad Ali-Salaam, had made more than one trip to the Middle East on behalf of the mosque project, and that the BRA and the Islamic society are refusing to divulge who had paid Ali Salaam’s expenses.
The group filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court in October seeking to force BRA disclosure of records regarding the mosque project.
A BRA spokeswoman, Jessica Shumaker, said the agency has responded fully to the David Project’s initial requests for information, and is waiting to hear whether the organization is willing to pay for public-records research to fill additional requests it has made.
David Project president Charles Jacobs said, “The public is entitled to know who paid for the BRA deputy director to travel to the Middle East to raise money for the Islamic society.”
Jacobs referred questions about the press release to the David Project’s attorney in the case, Jeffrey Robbins , who refused to say why the David Project has begun referring to “trips” made by Ali-Salaam to the Middle East.
It has been reported previously that Ali-Salaam made one trip on behalf of the mosque project, for which his airfare was paid by the Islamic society, and that the Islamic society had praised Ali-Salaam’s fund-raising efforts on behalf of the project.
Jacobs said the cost of hotels, restaurants, and other expenses was probably thousands of dollars.