Urban Tulsa Weekly: December 2006 Archives

L'essence de la Rue Cerise

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What makes Cherry Street (15th between Peoria and Utica) the lovely place it is, maybe the nicest street in Tulsa? This week's Urban Tulsa Weekly column tries to distill the essence of Cherry Street so that we can learn and apply the right lessons from its success.

Also in UTW this week:

Landing craft

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The developer of the Branson Landing riverfront mixed-use development has expressed interest in developing the west bank of the Arkansas River between 11th & 21st Street, and that's the topic of my latest column in Urban Tulsa Weekly. I reflect on a recent visit to Branson Landing and to a startlingly similar (but non-waterfront) development in the Florida panhandle called Destin Commons and consider how well that sort of thing might fit on our west bank.

Also of note in this week's UTW:

  • Holly Wall reports on plans to build an 85-room boutique hotel on the grounds of the historic McBirney Mansion at Riverside and Galveston. It's an interesting approach that seems to try to be sensitive to the historical context, but the neighborhood impact has to be considered, rezoning would be required, and there are preservation easements, donated by the owners to the City of Tulsa and the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office, that prohibit the kind of development being proposed.
  • Jarrod Gollihare has a feature story on the Tulsa Violin Shop, on Main north of Brady downtown. There's more to getting a violin or cello ready to play and keeping it playable than you might think.

Mosque of peace?

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This week's column in Urban Tulsa Weekly is about Jamal Miftah and his treatment by leaders of the Islamic Society of Tulsa's al-Salam ("Peace") mosque over his guest editorial in the October 29 Tulsa World. (Here's a link to the text of his op-ed.)

The same issue has another letter from Miftah, in which he makes the case from the Qu'ran that the Holy Land belongs to the Jews, and that means that Palestinian attacks on Israel cannot be justified as jihad. (It's on a page with the rest of the letters, so scroll down once you click to it.)

In the story I link to eteraz.org, a blog and web community for progressive Muslim activism. Ali Eteraz interviewed Jamal Miftah and has written several more articles about the situation. Another site of interest is the Free Muslims Coalition:

The Free Muslims Coalition is a nonprofit organization made up of American Muslims and Arabs of all backgrounds who feel that religious violence and terrorism have not been fully rejected by the Muslim community in the post 9-11 era.

The Free Muslims was created to eliminate broad base support for Islamic extremism and terrorism and to strengthen secular democratic institutions in the Middle East and the Muslim World by supporting Islamic reformation efforts.

The Free Muslims promotes a modern secular interpretation of Islam which is peace-loving, democracy-loving and compatible with other faiths and beliefs. The Free Muslims' efforts are unique; it is the only mainstream American-Muslim organization willing to attack extremism and terrorism unambiguously. Unfortunately most other Muslim leaders believe that in terrorist organizations, the end justifies the means.

Here's an interesting piece from their blog about the two faces of Saudi Arabia -- is it friend or foe to the West?

So is the Saudi Arabian government a friend of the United States or does Saudi Arabia propagate hate and intolerance among American Muslims and Muslims world wide? The answer to both of these questions is yes. The Saudi Arabian government is a great friend to the United States and at the same time many in Saudi Arabia, including some who receive government funding propagate hate and intolerance against anyone who does not share their Wahabi inspired ideology. The answers to both these questions may seem inconsistent and counter intuitive but these seemingly inconsistent answers reflect the complexity of modern day Saudi Arabia.

By now everyone has heard of the historic compact between the Saudi Royal Family and the fanatical Wahabi religious establishment. According to this agreement, the Saudi Royal family deals exclusively with matters of state while the Wahabi religious establishment deals with issues of morality which includes substantial control over the education system and the substantive interpretation of Islam. It is this division of power that produces the two faces of Saudi Arabia.

As long as my column is this week, I've got much more material that I didn't use, particularly from my interview with Jamal Miftah, and I have more research to do on Saudi funding of Islamic organizations in the West. I hope to get this material out here on BatesLine or in UTW.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Urban Tulsa Weekly category from December 2006.

Urban Tulsa Weekly: October 2006 is the previous archive.

Urban Tulsa Weekly: January 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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