Jamal Miftah Lawsuit
Friday, June 22nd 2007, 7:35 pm
By: News On 6
IN THE DISTRICT COURT IN AND FOR TULSA COUNTY STATE OF OKLAHOMA
ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF TULSA, an Oklahoma non profit corporation, ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA, an Indiana non profit corporation, NORTH AMERICAN ISLAMIC TRUST, an Indiana non profit corporation, FAROOQ ALI, JAVED JALIWALA, SHERYL SIDDIQUI SANDRA RANA, TARIQ MASOOD, MUHAMMAD ASHWAIT, HOUSSAM ELSOUIESSI a/k/a ABU WALEED, MUJEEB CHEEMA and AHMAD KABBANI, individually and as Directors and Officers of the ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF TULSA and ABDULLAH ROE and NOORUDDIN DOE, Individually.
COMES NOW, Jamal Mifah, Plaintiff, by and through his Attorney of Record, B. Kent Felty and would allege and prove the following:
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1. Jamal Miftah is a legal permanent resident of the United States of America, the State of Oklahoma, the County of Tulsa.
2. Defendant the Islamic Society of Tulsa (hereinafter IST) is an Oklahoma Corporation with its principal place of business in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Islamic Society of North America (hereinafter ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (hereinafter NAIT) are Indiana corporations doing substantial and continuous business and holding property in Tulsa County, Oklahoma.
3. Defendants Farooq Ali, Javed Jaliwala, Sheryl Siddiqui, Sandra Rana, Tariq Masood, Muhammad Ashwait, Houssam Elsoueissi a/k/a Abu Waleed, Mujeeb Cheema and Ahmad Kabbani are residents of Tulsa County, Oklahoma and serve as Directors and Officers of the IST.
4. Defendants Abdullah Roe and Nooruddin Doe are believed to be members of the Tulsa Mosque and residents of Tulsa County, Oklahoma.
5. All of the events that form the basis of Jamal Miftahâ€™s claims occurred in Tulsa County, Oklahoma.
COUNT ONE â€“ ASSSAULT
6. On or about October 29, 2006 Jamal Miftah wrote an â€œop-edâ€ piece published in the Tulsa World calling on Muslim clerics and youth to forsake and stand against terrorists whose â€œheinous crimes (are) not pardonable by any religion and strictly forbidden in Islamâ€¦â€
7. 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.
8. 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 â€œshould be ashamedâ€ of the aforementioned op-ed piece, which was â€œanti-Islamicâ€.
9. 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.
10. These three defendants screamed and shouted at Jamal Miftah, alleging that he was â€œanti Muslimâ€ and a â€œtraitorâ€, in an apparent attempt to incite a riot within the walls of the Mosque.
11. Abdullah Roe took his shoe off, waived said shoe and swung said shoe wildly at Jamal Miftahâ€™s face, calling and shouting that that Jamal Miftah was â€œanti Muslimâ€ and a â€œtraitor.â€
12. Jamal Miftah was put in imminent fear of serious bodily harm as the aforementioned defendants forced him into a wall.
13. Jamal Miftah was at that point rescued by another member of the Mosque and led outside of the Mosque.
COUNT TWO - DEFAMATION
14. Paragraphs one (1) through thirteen (13) are incorporated by reference.
15. 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 â€œanti Muslimâ€ and â€œanti Islamicâ€ by the mosque leadership.
16. On November 20, 2006 the Mosque Leadership, met and issued a direction (fatwa) to members of the Mosque â€“ ordering them to call the Tulsa Police Department in the event Jamal Miftah returned to the Mosque, unless or until Jamal Miftah issued a public apology for his published opinion, which was anti Islamic and anti Muslim.
17. Jamal Miftah responded that the Mosque leadership must rescind its fatwa, alleging he was anti Muslim and anti Islamic and directing his expulsion from the Mosque.
18. On November 24, 2006 a local TV channel published the story of Jamal Miftahâ€™s expulsion from the Mosque. Within that story the Mosque leadership alleged that Miftah was being expelled because he was â€œloudâ€ and that he would be allowed to return when he apologized, privately, to the Members and Leadership of the Mosque.
19. 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 â€œdiscussionâ€ of his published opinion. Rana stated that Jamal Miftah could attend prayers without restriction so long as acted in an â€œappropriate manner.â€
20. On December 1, 2006 the Mosque leadership issued a statement lifting the â€œbanâ€ on Jamal Miftah â€œas long as there is no disturbance and that no one at the Mosque should confront him.â€
21. By reason of the published statements of the Defendants, alleging that Jamal Miftah is â€œa traitorâ€¦ anti Muslimâ€¦ anti Islamicâ€ Jamal Miftah has been injured in his good name and brought into public disgrace and infamy in the Muslim community.
22. By reason of the published statements of the Defendants, alleging that Jamal Miftah is â€œa traitorâ€¦ anti Muslimâ€¦ anti Islamicâ€ Jamal Miftahâ€™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.
COUNT THREE â€“ INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
23. Paragraphs one (1) through twenty two (22) are incorporated by reference.
24. The acts of Defendants, individually and jointly, are outrageous in that Defendants knew that if they labeled Jamal Miftah a â€œtraitorâ€¦ anti Muslim and anti Islamicâ€ 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 â€œjusticeâ€ 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.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, Jamal Miftah prays for justice, at law and in equity, including but not limited to money damages, to compensate him for damage to his good name, emotional damages, and punitive damages to discourage future misconduct. He also prays for reasonable attorneysâ€™ fees and costs incurred in bringing this action, pre and post judgment interest, an unequivocal written and published apology from all Defendants, and the public lifting of any fatwas or directions to the Muslim community that may endanger his life and peace.
B. KENT FELTY, OBA NO. 15702
LAW OFFICES OF B. KENT FELTY
ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF
3525 S. UTICA AVE.
TULSA, OKLAHOMA 74105
PH. (918) 808-2267