Jamal Miftah sues mosque over defamation and assault

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Jamal Miftah, who in November 2006 was angrily confronted, called "anti-Islamic," and expelled from the Islamic Society of Tulsa's al-Salam mosque over his op-ed condemning those who commit terror in the name of Islam, filed suit today against the Islamic Society of Tulsa, the national Islamic organizations who own and operate the mosque, and certain mosque leaders as individuals, as well as two mosque members who were involved in the confrontation.

KOTV has transcribed the text of the complaint, which alleges assault, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The paragraphs that make up the last count may help you understand what Jamal and his family are going through:

24. The acts of Defendants, individually and jointly, are outrageous in that Defendants knew that if they labeled Jamal Miftah a “traitor… anti Muslim and anti Islamic” his life would be forfeit should he be found in a Muslim Country and labeled apostate and that he would live in constant fear and dread of vigilante “justice” from certain Muslims in the United States. 25. The acts of Defendants are the proximate cause of severe emotional distress in that Jamal Miftah is now labeled as apostate, forced along with his wife and four children to attend to prayers in their home, apart from the fellowship of other Muslims, prevented from traveling to any Muslim Country, including his homeland of Pakistan and robbed of his peace of mind and right to speak freely against those he believes have brought his faith into disrepute via attacks on his adopted homeland and other acts of terrorism.

Please pray for their protection and for the protection of their attorney, B. Kent Felty, who has shown a lot of courage in taking on this lawsuit.

(You may recall that Felty represented 52 Indian men in a civil rights case against the J. J. Pickle Co., which had confined them to the factory and forced them to work for less than minimum wage. Federal district court handed down a $1.2 million judgment against the company.)

UPDATE: See Dubya reminds us of a couple of anonymous comments posted from a Pakistani IP address which underline the seriousness of the threat implicit in the label "anti-Islamic." And he notes that the discovery process in this lawsuit "turn up all kinds of interesting information about how Islam is planned and directed in North America."

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Mark said:

There's something oddly disingenuous about the allegations in Miftah's lawsuit.

If you truly feared for your life, isn't the last thing you'd want to do to further inflame and alienate your accusers by suing a mosque and its leaders!?! Recourse to the Anglo-American legal system to solve an internal religious debate will succeed only to dig Miftah even deeper into the hole of Musliim "apostacy".

So the lawsuit makes no sense unless, of course, his goal is to secure a large enough verdict to be able to hire a private security detail for the rest of his life.

My guess is he's not really that scared, but sees an opportunity to make a buck with a jury inflamed by the rhetoric of terrorism.

The sad truth is that what makes the most sense is that Mr. Miftah is showing signs of assimilation to one of the worst aspects of American culture - our hyper-litigious nature.

If you're ever threatened with death for expressing disagreement with some of your co-religionists, I'd be interested in knowing if your views of Miftah's motives change.

Jamal does not consider himself an apostate. Leaders of his mosque have called him anti-Muslim. He has requested an apology and a retraction from the mosque, and that hasn't been forthcoming, so he is having to resort to legal action to get them to the table.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 22, 2007 9:55 PM.

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