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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Moderate Muslims--they exist, all right.

They just aren't very popular with less-moderate Muslims.

Consider the case of Jamal Miftah. Miftah is a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma. A banker born in Pakistan, he fled his native land in 2003 with his wife and four children after the border areas where he lived became a war zone.

Frustrated by quotes by al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri enjoining terrorism in a front page article in the Tulsa World, Miftah wrote an essay in October 2006 for the same newspaper (available here) which condemned violence in the name of Islam.

Reaction from his mosque? Excommunication. And no return until he repudiates the article and apologizes to the entire Muslim community.

The reason? According to an interview, it is because "you can't write bad things about Muslims in front of non-Muslims." He has also been labelled "a traitor," "an agent," and even "anti-Muslim."

If I may be so brazen as to offer some advice to the leadership of the Tulsa mosque--actions speak louder than words, and yours say volumes. None of them good.

Now ask yourself a few questions: (1) have you seen one word in major media about Jamal Miftah? (2) Have you heard anything about him prior to today? (3) Compare the non-coverage of this story to the media lather over the Imams' street theatre at the Minneapolis airport last week. Not even the Tulsa World itself has touched it.

Not so by the way--thank you very much, Mr. Miftah. We need many, many more like you.

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