The Middle East Forum has “dealt Islamists two setbacks in Massachusetts,” the Philadelphia-based think tank, which Daniel Pipes founded, stated.
“Earlier this year, the Massachusetts legislature considered parallel bills, S.1994 and H.3052, which would the civil rights and inclusion of American Muslims in the commonwealth nd create “a permanent commission on the status of people who practice Islam respectively.” said The Middle East Forum.
Both bills stated that one of the commission’s roles would be to “identify and recommend qualified American Muslims for appointive positions at all levels of government, including boards and commissions, as the commission considers necessary and appropriate.”
“That sort of favoring one religion over others is not allowed,” said Benjamin Baird, of MEF Action, the Middle East Forum’s grassroots activism project.
“This unlawful bill was watered-down and stripped of its harmful impact on Massachusetts communities, thanks to a combination of press inquiries, social media targeting and relentless outreach,” said Baird. “However, even without state funding, this legislation fails to properly separate ‘church from state,’ so we will continue to fight its passage.”
“Almost as soon as I filed this bill, a number of right-wing news outlets, etcetera were coming to my office to report on this, and there’s been a fair amount of social media attacks in relation,” said Jamie Eldridge, a Democrat who serves on the state senate on the May 10 meeting of the joint committee on state administration and regulatory oversight.
“The bill would be “narrowly focused, narrowly drawn, to just focus on creating this commission, but expressly saying there would be no state funding involved,” said Baird.
And on June 16, 2023, Kevin Hayden the Suffolk County district attorney, suspended True-See Allah, a Louis Farrakhan follower, from his position as director of community engagement and strategic partnerships.
One month prior, the Middle East Forum had published a piece in The American Spectator documenting Allah’s ties to the Nation of Islam.
“Hayden initially stood by his staffer, but once Fox News picked up on the story, crediting MEF’s report, he took the necessary step, prompting the Boston Globe to cover the controversy,” said the Middle East Forum stated.
“Hayden should have acted more quickly, and it’s still possible Allah will remain on staff at the DA’s office,” said Dexter Van Zile, editor-in-chief of the forum’s Focus on Western Islamism. “The suspension is a step in the right direction, but we will keep watching.”
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager