November 25, 2006
US: Oklahoma Mosque Members Support Al Qaeda
News from Oklahoma, in the form of a video from News 9. Jamal Miftah (pictured) is a recent migrant to the United States. He wrote a letter to the Tulsa World newspaper after seeing a video by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second in command of Al Qaeda.
His letter, entitled “Message of Islam is not jihad, fatwahs” was published in Tulsa World on October 29. In this letter, which we reproduce below, he stated that Zawahri and bin Laden were cowards, getting young and ignorant men to become suicide bombers to kill innocent civilians.
His letter was impassioned, but it was well-intentioned. He said that Muslims throughout the world should stand up to those who advocate jihad, and to decry such behavior as being against Islam. But the letter caused only recriminations at his mosque, the Islamic Center at Tulsa.
He was threatened by several members. He protested, and then was told by the management of the mosque that he cannot return until he has apologized.
Miftah was told by members of the congregation that he should never have criticized Islam in front of non-Muslims. The thing is – he did not criticize Islam, only the radicals who preach jihad. It is a sad testimony to the fact that many Muslims in the West make no distinction between Al Qaeda and Islam. There is a concept in Islam called takfeer, which is the action of condemning a Muslim as a heretic.
Takfeer is a Muslim “crime” if not made by a senior cleric. Islam is a club which welcomes any members into the Ummah, no matter how despotic or murderous they may be. If a person has said the Shahada, they are a Muslim. If they have killed non-Muslims, or even Muslims, they are still regarded as pat of the Ummah.
This bizarre reasoning was brought home to me on an internet forum, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the butcher of Baghdad, was killed in June. Several Muslims who had early said that Islam is peaceful refused to condemn Zarqawi for the obvious monster that he was. The victims whose heads he slowly sawed off, as they gurgled their last breaths through torrents of blood spurting from their throats, were non-Muslim and Muslim alike. Yet, for the Muslims on the forum, Zarqawi was a Muslim. Worse – he was a “good Muslim” even if he had killed other Muslims.
I pressed these apologists further, and reasoned that what Zarqawi did was wrong, even if he did it thinking he was doing it for Allah. Eventually, one of these individuals admitted Zarqawi had done monstrous things. I was told of takfeer and how they feared to criticize any Muslim, lest on Judgement Day they received punishment for denouncing another Muslim as bad.
Sadly, this blinded mentality is what is destroying the credibility of Islam in the eyes of any rational being. People who claim to be Muslim, people who claim to live in the West as “peaceful citizens” may condemn acts of terrorism. But press these individuals further – ask them if they condemn the perpetrators of terrorism by name, and you will be met with obfuscation or a stony silence. How many Muslims have carried placards denouncing Osama bin Laden? Very few. Those who denounce the actions of Al Qaeda will never name the individuals who commit Al Qaeda atrocities, such as Mohammed Atta, or others, as “bad Muslims”.
This is a fundamental problem with logic. I suggest you try it. Next time you engage in a discussion with a Muslim who claims to denounce terrorism, name a specific Muslim terrorist, and see if the denouncer of terrorist acts has the moral fiber to denounce that named terrorist. I assure you, you will find the answers surprising.
This is the letter that Jamal Miftah sent to the Tulsa World:
Message of Islam is not jihad, fatwahs
By Jamal Miftah.
I moved to the United States in March 2003, with my four kids and wife from Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. There was a call by a local jihadi organization to fight the coalition forces in Afghanistan. One of my dearest friends, Mirza Kohistani, fell prey to that call and joined the group, despite my advice and that of his wife to him.All the leaders of that organization returned safely after the fall of the Taliban empire, but they left behind the body of my friend and hundreds of other innocent people like him.
I am obliged to respond to Ayman al-Zawahri’s recent video message, portraying himself as champion of Islam and others as liars.
My message to Ayman al-Zawahri and Muslims of the world: “Islam” means submission and is derived from a word meaning “peace.” Islam, Christianity and Judaism have the same origin, the Prophet Abraham. The prophet of Islam has said that God has no mercy on someone who does not have mercy for others.
I ask that al-Zawahri look at his deeds and those of his master, Osama bin Laden, and other so-called Islamic jihadists.
Because of lack of knowledge of Islam, Muslim youth are misguided into believing by the so-called champions of the cause of Islam that the current spate of killings and barbarism, which has no equal in the recent civilized history, is jihad in the name of Islam. They are incited, in the name of Islam, to commit heinous crimes not pardonable by any religion and strictly forbidden in Islam.
Cowards like al-Zawahri and bin Laden are inciting the ignorant and innocent youths to commit suicide bombings to kill innocent civilians including children, women and the elderly, while they hide in spider holes and caves. They never send their own sons and daughters, born out of half a dozen of their wives, to get killed in the name of Islam. They are themselves hypo crites, cowards, thugs and liars. For 12 years they misappropriated aid received from the U.S. and the West to fight Russia. Now they are ensuring smooth flow of petro dollars from Arab countries in the name of jihad against the West.
Even mosques and Islamic institutions in the U.S. and around the world have become tools in their hands and are used for collecting funds for their criminal acts. Half of the funds collected go into the pockets of their local agents and the rest are sent to these thugs.
They are the reason for branding the peaceful religion of Islam as terrorism. The result, therefore, is in the form of Danish cartoons and remarks/reference by the Pope.
I appeal to the Muslim youth in particular and Muslims of the world in general to rise up and start jihad against the killers of humanity and help the civilized world to bring these culprits to justice and prove that Islam is not a religion of hatred and aggression.
I appeal to the Muslim clerics around the world that, rather than issuing empty fatwas condemning suicide bombing, they should issue a fatwa for the death of such scoundrels and barbarians who have taken more than 4,267 lives of innocent people in the name of Islam and have carried out more than 24 terrorist attacks on civilian installations throughout the world. This does not include the chilling number of deaths because of such activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is well over 250,000.
I appeal to al-Zawahri and his band of thugs to hand themselves over to justice and stop spreading evil and killing innocent humans around the world in the name of Islam. Their time is limited and Muslims of the world will soon rise against them to apprehend them and bring them to justice.