"This is alarming, but I'd need to see a smoking gun." That's what a Boston Rabbi said after we'd spent an hour in his office walking him through mounds of evidence that linked the leaders of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) to terrorism and hate speech against Jews and Christians. He wouldn't speak publicly about the radical leadership of the ISB mosque, he explained, for fear of giving offense, for fear of breaking with a certain understanding about these things, for fear of being labeled a bigot.
For 10 years, this reluctance to speak honestly about the radicalization of the once-moderate Boston Muslim community has epitomized the thinking of many civic leaders in Boston.
We don't know yet how the two Chechen terrorists became radical Islamists, but their uncle has said they had local "mentors." The bombs that went off at the Boston Marathon and the subsequent news that the terrorist brothers attended the ISB mosque in Cambridge – which was only blocks from their apartment – should shatter this kind of thinking.