Man Says Column Got Him Kicked Out Of Mosque

Friday, November 24th 2006, 7:46 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa man says a column in the newspaper got him kicked out of his church. The man is Muslim, he says the column published in the “Tulsa World” was anti-Al-Qaida, but, as News On 6 anchor Omar Villafranca reports, he say's members of his Mosque say it's anti-Muslim.

Jamal Miftah and his family have lived in Tulsa since 2003. As a Muslim, he says he's disturbed by terrorists killing in the name of Islam. A recent tape released by Al-Qaeda angered Miftah, prompting him to write a letter to the editor of the “Tulsa World.” In the published letter Miftah calls Al-Qaida leaders "cowards" for using young Muslims to carry out attacks. He also says Islam is a "peaceful religion" and urges Muslims to help bring people like Osama bin Laden to justice.

Miftah says he's received mixed reviews about the letter. Some fellow Muslims praised him, but others at the Mosque he attends in Tulsa called him anti-Muslim.

"And I was shocked. I said "Why?" He said you have written bad things about Muslims in your article and you can't say anything bad about Muslims in front of non-believers," Muslim Jamal Miftah said.

Miftah says earlier this month he was confronted about the article, and even threatened. He says several members of the church threatened him. He even filed report with the Tulsa Police.

"If you take your shoes off and say you are this and that, that means you are,” Miftah said. “They had all the intentions of causing harm to me."

Miftah says several Muslims told him he's no longer allowed at the Mosque. He says leaders told him there is only one way he can come back to worship.

"The two members, they told them has to apologize, he has to take his article back, and that's the only way we can let him come back into Mosque," said Miftah.

The News On 6 spoke with one of the leaders of the Mosque, and he has a different version of the story. He says Miftah was being loud in the prayer hall and that's why he was asked to leave. The leader also said Miftah can come back to the mosque if he apologizes for being loud in the prayer hall. He added that the apology doesn't have to be public, and he does not have to apologize for the column.