The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on September 17, 2001 · 26
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 26

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Monday, September 17, 2001
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The Boston Globe City & Region B5 NEXT STEPS LOCAL IMPACT MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2001 A MUSLIM COMMUNITY Mosque opens its doors to the public By Jason Pring GLOBE CORRESPONDENT CAMBRIDGE - Susan Kelley and Kim McNamara felt helpless that they could not help those suffering in New York and Washington, D.C., following Tuesday's terrorist attacks. So the friends, concerned for the region's Muslim community, went to the Islamic Society of Boston yesterday to express their support "I wanted to have the chance to make it clear that I'm not discriminating and that I'm able to look beyond last week's events," Kelley said. At an open house at the mosque on Prospect Street honoring those who stand behind his PrtTrimiiTiitv Trr 1 m 1 wanted to make it clear that I'm not discriminating and that I'm able to look Basyouni Nehela, the beyond last Islamic Society's wpfJ V pvpttU ' spiritual leader, con- wccliS evcuia. demned the attacks. Nehela, whose so SUSAN ciety includes 1,200 local members, said his mosque has received threatening calls since the attacks. He said the society's members, as well as the Boston area's 60,000 to 70,000 Muslims, have been uneasy and afraid since last week's act of terrorism, for which Saudi Arabian exile Osama bin Laden is suspected. "It is wrong to judge all the Arab world and all Muslims for this individual crime," Nehela said. "No religion should be judged by the actions of an individual.'' But Nehela said he has been rr j . . : H- , " - . I, - - Hoda El Sharkawi (center) and Abeer Chakfa (right) with her son, Anas, were among the participants at the open house for the Islamic Society of Boston. Sharkawi said the impressive showing by non-Muslims eased some of her concerns. Boston tourism left with vacant feeling TOURISM Continued from Page Bl He said the industry was already dipping, largely because of a decline in business travel, and confidence might not rebound fully until next year. The key to bolstering confidence, he said, is strenuous and visible security at Logan. This may sound a bit parochial, but we've got to tell the rest of the Europeans and the rest of the US that Boston is a safe destina tion,'' Howell said. At the Days Inn . n on Soldiers Field BuSinCSS fell off Road in Brighton, immediately manager Adam Sperling said yester- because people day that he was los- , 1 . w mstmm oniv m weren t able to air travel and was still seeing plenty of parents who had delivered students to the many colleges in get here. the area. rf not down a lot at the mo- ment, but the longer people's con- cerns go on, that could change," Enjoy the comforts 1-883 MY GLOBE 1 1-888-694-5623 buoyed by dozens of calls, letters, and faxed messages of support from local non-Muslims. He points to the woman who presented him with a list of 35 signatures condemning harassment it now hangs outside the mosque and to the police department, which assigned an officer to the mosque. "We have received many supportive calls from Jewish and Christian people and we want to thank them for their support," he said. Thafs why Nehela decided to hold the open house. Scores of neighbors, clergy from churches and synagogues, and local politicians turned out, which stretched through the afternoon and included a prayer service, a vigil for the victims, and a question-and-answer session. "I wanted to come and let them know they have the full KELLEY support of their neighbors and that we're in this together," said Tanya Sokolsky, who lives near the mosque. Cambridge City Councilor Marjorie Decker, who attended the event, said the city's human rights commission has issued an alert urging residents to report incidents of harassment For Islamic Society member Hoda El Sharkawi, the impressive showing by non-Muslims eased some of her concerns. "I'm very pleased," she said. "To me, it feels like there is some good that will come out of this." GLOBE STAFF PHOTO JOHN BOHN Sperling said. The prognosis? "Certainly uncertain," he said. Patrick Moscaritolo, president of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, is more optimistic. He sees nothing unique to Boston, but that the city fell victim to the same air travel backup that froze the rest of the nation. "About 70 percent of our convention delegates arrive by air," he said. "Now, more than ever, well see the critical role that the na tional airport system plays in moving people to and from meetings." With several major airlines cutting flights back by 20 percent, Moscaritolo is looking toward a government bailout to preserve the strength of the industry. Failing to do so, . .' JONCRELLIN, Fairmont Copley Moscaritolo said, would mean a serious downturn for the hotels, restaurants, museums, and attrac- nons mat aepena on travelers. of horns delivery. 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