Islamic Society Drops Libel Suit Against ‘Boston Herald,’ Jewish Group

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By: E&P Staff

The Islamic Society of Boston dropped Tuesday dropped its two year-old libel and conspiracy lawsuit against The Boston Herald, a Jewish group, and other media outlets.

In its suit, the Islamic Society and two of its leaders alleged the Herald, the local Fox outlet, a non-profit Jewish advocacy group called The David Project, and about a dozen other defendants conspired to block a controversial land deal between the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the society. The land would be the site of a mosque and Islamic cultural center.

No payments were made by the defendants in the society’s decision to drop all claims. The end of the libel suit was reported Wednesday in the Herald by business reporter Jesse Noyes, and in The Boston Globe by staff writer Donovan Slack.

The lawsuit claimed that the news organizations and Jewish groups created a media campaign to stop the mosque construction by falsely alleging links with terrorists.

Herald Publisher Patrick J. Purcell said the decision to drop the defamation and conspiracy claims “reinforces our conviction that we must stand fast against any erosion of the inherent right to report on important issues.”

In a statement, he said the paper’s coverage was “detailed, well-researched, quality journalism that inspired public discussion about certain leaders of the Islamic Society of Boston and (its) dealings with the Boston Redevelopment Authority and we intend to continue our reporting in that tradition.”

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