Why does the New York Times leave out key details about the anti-Semitism of American-Saudi Islamist Walid Fitaihi?

In a piece today at the American Spectator, we discuss the extremist links of Walid Fitaihi, a doctor, businessman and prominent Islamist. We admonish the New York Times for its coverage of Fitaihi’s detention in Saudi Arabia, noting that the newspaper seems to ignore Fitaihi’s connections to Muslim Brotherhood Islamists -- such as Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was jailed in connection to an assassination plot against a Saudi Crown Prince – while also appearing very confused that the anti-Brotherhood Wahhabi regime would want to arrest Fitaihi at all.

The New York Times’s mishandling of this story is not, however, relegated solely to the question of Islamism. The newspaper also seeks to downplay Islamist anti-Semitism. As we mentioned in our American Spectator article, the New York Times does briefly mention a 2004 controversy in which Fitaihi – while serving as an official of the Islamic Society of Boston - was caught expressing unabashed anti-Semitism.

In 2000, Fitaihi wrote in the London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Sharq al-Awsat, that Jews “have perpetrated the worst of evils and they have brought the worst corruption to the earth … Are some of us so naive as to think that any manner of peace can possibly be obtained with a people who hide that which Allah has shown them, and who distorted the words and wrote the Book with their own hands; a people who have betrayed the trust of Heaven and who have killed prophets.”

Fitaihi added that the deadly violence against Jews in Israel were “glad tidings for the Muslims heralding the fulfillment of Allah's promise of victory after the second transgression.”

Of course, in its own coverage, The Times only mentions that Fitaihi “is reported to have called Jews ‘perpetrators of the worst of evils’ and to have said they control ‘the power of the media.’”
Along with its expurgation of Fitaihi’s more violent comments, the newspaper then bluntly states: “The Islamic Society publicly disavowed his statements.”

That’s not true. In fact, the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) initially stated that Fitaihi’s violent comments about Jews were offered "at a time of high emotion” and were “not intended to incite hatred against Jews.”

After a week of significant media coverage and steadfast criticism from Boston Jewish organizations, the ISB then did state its “regret that previous responses by the ISB with regard to the contentious statements of Dr. Walid Fitaihi have been ambivalent.”

It then extended this ambivalence further: “Dr. Fitaihi has always advised Muslims to show the utmost respect towards Jews and Christians and in this case has insisted that his intent was not to incite hatred. Despite this, we recognize that some of Dr. Fitaihi's writings have been extremely hurtful to our Jewish friends and neighbors. We wish to be as clear as possible in stating that we in no way condone Dr. Fitaihi's words as quoted in recent news reports."

Note the use of “as quoted.”

Moreover, the ISB today continues to give succor to anti-Semites. As we wrote in the Algemeiner last year, the ISB has recently established the Boston Islamic Seminary, and appointed hardened anti-Semites to its faculty (including Walid Fitaihi), who will teach their Islamist hatreds to new generations of American Muslims. When will the New York Times look into that?