More on Miftah, from Eteraz.org

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A little over a week ago, Ali Eteraz of the progressive Muslim online community Eteraz.org interviewed Tulsan Jamal Miftah about the anti-terrorist column he wrote and the backlash he experienced.

Eteraz published a follow-up after the Tulsa World's story last Friday, December 1, including Miftah's response to the story (also published here at BatesLine). In the conclusion, Eteraz urges his readers to urge two national organizations to get involved -- the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Then, last Saturday, Eteraz defended Miftah on the point of his op-ed which seems to have generated the most controversy:

Even mosques and Islamic institutions in the U.S. and around the world have become tools in [terrorists'] hands and are used for collecting funds for their criminal acts. Half of the funds collected go into the pockets of their local agents and the rest are sent to these thugs.

Noting the complaint of the Islamic Center of Tulsa that Miftah has accused IST of being such a mosque, Eteraz writes:

The thing is, Miftah didn't say what the IST is saying he did. He didn't say "American mosques support terrorists." He said "even" American mosques have been subverted in the past. Just because the IST does not know of any that have been so subverted does not mean that Miftah becomes wrong. He is right to call them liars.

It's an interesting perspective, and interesting, too, to read the comments.
Since it's a month old, Miftah's op-ed has passed into the Whirled's archives, but I found the complete text here.

UPDATE: Eteraz has posted some further thoughts, seeing some lessons for Muslim reformists, and he also posted an e-mail from Miftah:

Think about forming an Alliance of like-minded Muslims, and let's begin our Jihad (struggle) against such rogue leadership of the so called Islamic institutions, who, in the name of Islam, are misguiding the ordinary simple Muslims and continuously causing a bad name for our pious religion.

In Miftah's e-mail, there's an interesting comment about forgiveness which stands in contrast to Christianity: Jesus taught, in Matthew 6 in connection with His model prayer, that God's forgiveness of us is dependent on our forgiveness of those who have wronged us. In Islam, divine forgiveness for a transgression against someone is dependent on the forgiveness of the victim of the transgression. In other words, if I steal from you, I must gain your forgiveness before God can forgive me.

I met Jamal Miftah a couple of days ago, and we spoke at length. It was very interesting, and some of the thoughts he expressed to me about the nature of his faith are reflected in the e-mail that Eteraz has published.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 7, 2006 5:49 PM.

This week's BatesLine KFAQ update was the previous entry in this blog.

Jamal Miftah on Hannity and Colmes is the next entry in this blog.

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