Is it a case of anti-Muslim bigotry or a principled stand against creeping sharia? Is it insubordination on the part of a rebellious police officer, or is it simply a case of police department management being caught with their heads up their brass?
A Tulsa police captain is suing his department to regain his lost pay and assignment after he was suspended for two weeks and transferred for refusing to attend a “cultural event” at a Tulsa mosque. Captain Paul Fields, a 17-year veteran of the department and a devout Christian, informed his chief that he would not attend the event, billed as a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day,” to be held in March 2011 at the Islamic Cultural Society of Tulsa.
According to the lawsuit (PDF), in January 2011, Tulsa Deputy Police Chief Alvin Webster announced in a staff meeting that the event was upcoming and solicited volunteers to attend. In February 2011, an email regarding the event was sent to all Tulsa police officers. Attached to the email was a flier from the Islamic Society describing the event and inviting police officers to attend. When neither Captain Fields nor any of his subordinates responded to the invitation, a subsequent email was sent informing Fields that his attendance was no longer voluntary but mandatory, and that officers from each shift under his command were also expected to attend.
Capt. Fields responded with an email of his own, informing his superiors that he believed the order was unlawful as it violated his religious convictions and that he would not be attending. He also said he would not order any of his subordinates who held similar convictions to attend the event.
Efforts were made to persuade Capt. Fields to change his mind, but when he did not he was served with his transfer and suspension for failing to observe Rule 6 of the Tulsa Police Department Rules and Regulations – Duty to Be Truthful and Obedient.
Granted, while Capt. Fields, like any police officer, does indeed have a duty to be truthful and obedient, he should not have a duty to serve as a prop in the service of Muslim religious proselytizing and the advancement of Muslim political aims.
As stated in Capt. Fields’s lawsuit, the Islamic Society of Tulsa “supports and promotes” on its website both the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, both of which were identified as unindicted coconspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-funding case. The lawsuit further describes a network of individuals associated with both the Islamic Society of Tulsa and the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization guided by what is known as its “Strategic Goal Memo,” which includes the following passage:
The process of settlement is a “Civilization Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan [a.k.a., Muslim Brotherhood] must understand their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
The Islamic Society of Tulsa tried to put a benign face on its law enforcement event, but Capt. Fields was well founded in detecting sinister motives and refusing to participate. But even if there were no links, however tenuous, between the Society and terrorist groups, should Capt. Fields or any police officer be ordered to attend a religious event on duty? If a Muslim police officer had been ordered to attend a Christian event, is there a sentient being in America who believes his superiors would not acquiesce (and quickly!) to his objections?
Such is the fear of appearing “Islamophobic” among politicians – and remember that most police commanders are politicians first and cops second – that they’ll go to absurd lengths to demonstrate how open-minded and tolerant they are, how committed they are to the gods of “diversity.”
When no police officers volunteered to attend the event at Islamic Society of Tulsa, the Tulsa P.D. brass panicked at the thought that they might be perceived as backward and intolerant. They needed cops to turn out, so they ordered them to do so without regard for the propriety or even the legality of the order.
What Capt. Fields knew, what every police officer knows, is that there are always cops in every department who will do almost anything to curry favor with the brass if it means gaining some advantage in the next promotional competition. The Tulsa P.D. chief could have quietly put the word out that he needed some cops go down and break bread with the local jihadists for an hour or so, and that anyone who agreed to do so would be remembered favorably in the upper ranks of the department. Put that together with the offer of free food and you would have had squad cars lined up two-deep up and down the block in front of the mosque and everyone would have been happy.
Instead, the chief puffed up his chest and said he wasn’t going to let some damned captain tell him where he would and would not go. So now the matter heads to federal court, where the chain of command of the Tulsa Police Department is very likely to be embarrassed, as they should be.