The former imam of the Oklahoma City mosque attended by beheading suspect Alton Nolen apologized this week to ISIS for previously criticizing the group.
Suhaib Webb is currently the imam of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, which is part of the same entity under the same ownership as the Islamic Society of Boston, where Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev worshipped. Webb spoke alongside the late al-Qaida senior operative Anwar al-Awlaki at a Sept. 9, 2001 fundraiser for an Islamic radical who killed two police officers, according to FBI surveillance documents.
Webb previously served as imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where Nolen reportedly worshipped. It is not known whether Webb and Nolen ever met. Webb recently returned to the Oklahoma City mosque to deliver two sermons in October 2013, records reveal. Webb previously gave sermons there in November 2011, October 2010 and October 2008.
The day after Nolen beheaded a co-worker, and the same day that Webb was publicly linked to Nolen’s mosque, Webb apologized to ISIS in an online column he wrote for the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center entitled “Shame on Me: A Commitment to Discourse Instead of Demonization.”
“I woke up the other day and decided to skim through my body of work over the last few years,” Webb wrote. “Boy was I surprised at some of my posts and talks — the tone and the demonization of others — I compared ISIS to Ebola. While I don’t agree with ISIS, al-Qāida, certain progressives and others, I’ve decided to apologize to anyone that I have spoken ill towards or demonized.”
“I ask Allah to forgive me and to guide me to observe better character in the future,” Webb continued. “I asked myself, ‘Suhaib did you forget the 49th chapter of the Qur’an, Surah al-Hujurāt?’ Moving forward, I promise myself to address ideas instead of people, to be critical of thoughts instead of personalities and commit to ethics as best I can. That will create a better climate to unpack and examine current trends in our community, but ensure that I recognize other’s humanity and worth.”
Webb then asked Allah for forgiveness in his column.
As The Daily Caller previously reported, Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and then-Boston Mayor Tom Menino appeared at inaugural events for the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in 2009. The city of Boston gave a “subsidy” to construct that cultural center. The Muslim American Society of Boston, an affiliate of a Muslim Brotherhood front group, runs the cultural center.
Webb’s staff at the Cultural Center did not immediately return a request for comment.