Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fighting Back in Tulsa

In recent years CAIR and the various other American front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood have instituted a practice commonly known as “lawfare”. By suing prominent individuals who speak out against Islamization, the deep pockets of the Islamic groups are brought to bear against people who can ill afford the legal fight. Along with libel tourism and the full-court press in the media, it’s an effective way of silencing the critics of Islam.

Now one of the little guys is giving the Islamists a taste of their own medicine, and he’s a Muslim himself.

Jamal Miftah is a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He says that back in 2005 he spoke up condemn Islamic terrorism, and as a result was threatened and assaulted by various members of his mosque.

He has responded by filing suit against the Islamic Society of Tulsa, the local chapter of the Islamic Society of North America, and the North American Islamic Trust, as well as a number of individuals — Farooq Ali, Javed Jaliwala, Sheryl Siddiqui, Sandra Rana, Tariq Masood, Muhammad Ashwait, Houssam Elsoueissi a/k/a Abu Waleed, Mujeeb Cheema and Ahmad Kabbani (directors and officers of the IST, or “Shura”), Abdullah Roe and Nooruddin Doe (believed to be members of the Tulsa Mosque), charging them with assault, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

BatesLine is keeping track of the progress of Mr. Miftah’s case. A few days ago a District Court judge denied a motion by IST to dismiss the suit.

This is a story we will be following with interest. It’s good to know that someone is using one of ISNA’s preferred weapons against them.

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Below are some excerpts drawn from Jamal Miftah’s amended petition (pdf format) as filed on April 2nd of this year:

9. On or about July 15, 2005 six (6) Members of the Islamic Society of Tulsa (IST), including Jamal Miftah, delivered a letter to the Chairman and Members of the Governing Board (Shura) of that Society. Within the letter the six (6) members expressed concern over the “financial status” of the Society and asked that monthly accounts be posted and available to the members.
10. Shortly thereafter the July 15, 2005 letter, another letter was delivered to the Shura. That letter made specific reference to cash donations to outside organizations and the need for financial transparency to “block undue accusations” and “ensure compliance with the laws of the land.”
11. Shortly after a meeting between the Shura and the concerned members, Jamal Miftah followed up with another letter to the Shura, on or about August 23, 2005. Within that letter the Jamal Miftah reiterated his concern that the Society was operating in “grey areas” and raised further concern that cash payments made by the Shura amounted to “money laundering” and donations “can ultimately be funneled to undesirable organizations for illegal activities.” Jamal Miftah further made it clear to the Shura that he was concerned that this type of financial activity would damage Muslims in the USA and the World and “convey yet another wrong message to the world about Islam and Islamic organizations.” Jamal Miftah received no response and the Shura refused to adopt transparent accounting practices.
12. The Shura is the Governing Body of the Islamic Society of Tulsa charged with executing the policies of the parent organization, the Islamic Society of North America on a local level.
13. The Islamic Society of North America is responsible for formulating policy and teaching in North America and directs local Shuras to execute policy and practice consistent with its view.
14. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is largely funded by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which in turn is largely funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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17. Defendants IST, through its Shura, ISNA and NAIT were not in agreement with Plaintiff with regard for the need to avoid funneling cash donations to organizations with close links to Jihadist terrorists.
18. Defendants IST, ISNA and NAIT constructed and implemented a policy of intimidating dissident Muslims, by assault, by defamation, by the withdrawal of business opportunities, by ostracizing family members in the USA and abroad, and by putting vocal dissidents in danger of assassination via official or vigilante action with false claims of apostasy.
19. Defendants IST, its Shura, ISNA and NAIT all subscribe to the view that the death penalty is the appropriate punishment for an apostate Muslim and unless he or she is mentally ill or has converted to another religion under duress.
20. Defendants IST, its Shura, ISNA and NAIT are all aware that labeling a person “Anti-Islamic” or “Anti-Muslim” or a “Traitor to Islam” can logically result in that person’s assassination or execution.
21. Defendants IST, its Shura, ISNA and NAIT identified Jamal Miftah as a dissident Muslim in need of “discipline” and or expulsion from the local Mosque.
22. On or about October 29, 2006 Jamal Miftah wrote an “op-ed” piece published in the Tulsa World calling on Muslim clerics and youth to forsake and stand against terrorists whose “heinous crimes (are) not pardonable by any religion and strictly forbidden in Islam…”
23. In the aforementioned op-ed piece Jamal Miftah also alleged that some mosques in the United States and around the world are being used to collect money for terrorists.
24. In response to Plaintiff’s letter the Defendants, acting in concert, directly and through agents, executed a policy and practice common to IST, NAIT and ISNA designed to injure Jamal Miftah by encouraging an atmosphere where he would be physically intimidated at the Mosque, excluded from the Mosque and otherwise destroyed in his name and possibly body.
  For the assault:
26. On or about November 18, 2006 Jamal Miftah went to the Tulsa Mosque owned and operated by the Defendants IST, ISNA and NAIT to offer his last prayer of the day (Ishaa prayer). Following prayers, the Iman of the Mosque, Ahmad Kabbani, a defendant herein, confronted Jamal Miftah in the Mosque and stated that he “should be ashamed” of the aforementioned op-ed piece, which was “anti-Islamic”.
27. Following the lead of Ahmad Kabbani, Houssam Elsouesssi, a defendant herein, and two other members of the Mosque, Abdullah Roe and Nooruddin Doe, defendants herein, confronted Jamal Miftah.
28. These defendants screamed and shouted at Jamal Miftah, alleging that he was “anti Muslim” and a “traitor to Islam,” in an apparent attempt to incite a riot within the walls of the Mosque.
29. Abdullah Roe took his shoe off, waived [sic] said shoe and swung said shoe wildly at Jamal Miftah’s face, calling and shouting that that Jamal Miftah was “anti Muslim” and a “traitor to Islam.”
30. Jamal Miftah was put in imminent fear of serious bodily harm as the aforementioned defendants and others forced him into a wall.
  For the defamation:
33. The day after the assault noted above, Jamal Miftah received word through a member of the Mosque (not a defendant herein) that a Temporary Restraining Order had been issued against him, sworn to by Houssam Elsouessi, and that the restraining order would be removed if he issued a public apology for the op-ed piece, deemed to be “anti Muslim” and “anti Islamic” by the Shura.
36. On November 24, 2006 a local TV channel published the story of Jamal Miftah’s expulsion from the Mosque. Within that story the Mosque leadership alleged that Miftah was being expelled because he was “loud” and that he would be allowed to return when he apologized, privately, to the Members and Leadership of the Mosque.
37. On November 29, 2006, Sandra Rana, a defendant herein, published a statement where she alleged that Jamal Miftah was physically removed from the Mosque after he threatened violence and cursed during a “discussion” of his published opinion. Rana stated that Jamal Miftah could attend prayers without restriction so long as acted in an “appropriate manner.”
40. By reason of the published statements of the Defendants, alleging that Jamal Miftah is “a traitor to Islam… anti Muslim… anti Islamic” Jamal Miftah’s life has been put in danger in the sense that he has been labeled apostate from the Muslim Religion by the Defendants and vulnerable to the death penalty in Muslim countries and/or vigilante justice in his adopted homeland.

Many thanks to the alert reader who tipped me to this case.


laine said...

My hat is off to Jamal Miftah who has somehow escaped Islamic brainwashing to think independently. He is a true American and the rare moderate Muslim.

This case will highlight the danger to any Western Muslim who takes on the Muslim establishment. They use the apostate charge and threat as a cudgel to beat the upstart back into submission.