Captain Paul Fields, a 16-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department (TPD), has filed a lawsuit against his superior, after he was demoted for refusing to order officers in his command to attend a social event being held at Masjid al-Salam, the Islamic Society of Tulsa (IST). He claimed that it was against his religious beliefs, and that his rights were being violated.
Given the extremist ties of the Islamic center, one has to wonder why the captain would be asked to do such a thing in the first place.
On February 17, 2011, Captain Fields received a directive from TPD Deputy Chief Daryl Webster to order his officers to be in attendance of IST's Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to be held on March 4th. He refused to do so.
For his "insubordination," Fields, who has received countless commendations and who has never had any disciplinary action taken against him, was reassigned and placed under investigation.
It is not Fields, however, who should be investigated, but the mosque sponsoring the event.
According to the opening paragraph of IST's constitution, found on its official website, IST "shall establish and maintain continuous affiliation with the Islamic Society of North America." The following paragraph states, "The aims and purposes of IST shall be to serve the best interest of Islam in the greater Tulsa area [by working] in cooperation with ISNA."
According to the Tulsa County Property Assessor, IST is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). Both ISNA and NAIT were named by the U.S. Justice Department, as recently as November 2008, as a party to the financing of millions of dollars to the terrorist organization Hamas.
In October 2006, a member of the mosque, Jamal Miftah, wrote an op-ed published by Tulsa World, denouncing al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and violence perpetrated in the name of Islam. For this, IST representatives labeled Miftah "anti-Muslim" and a "traitor to Islam" and threw him out of the Islamic center.
In June 2007, Miftah filed suit against the mosque, alleging that IST had been involved in "money laundering" and stating that the money could "ultimately be funneled to undesirable organizations for illegal activities." According to his court petition, he and IST "were not in agreement…with regard for the need to avoid funneling cash donations to organizations with close links to Jihadist terrorists."
Today, on the homepage of IST's website, one can see an announcement for a February 2011 event hosted by IST featuring Siraj Wahhaj, a U.S. government named "unindicted co-conspirator" for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and sponsored by ICNA Relief USA, a group that, like ISNA and NAIT, has been associated with funding Hamas.
It appears that Captain Fields was right in his refusal to assign his officers attendance at the IST event. TPD should take note of the facts regarding IST and its association with extremists and act accordingly. Any contact between TPD and IST only serves to grant the Islamic center legitimacy, which it most certainly does not deserve.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.