The Islamic Society of Wichita and more than 5,000 Wichita Muslims condemn
the allegations and false accusations that were made by Tulsa Police Chief
Dave Been to the Tulsa Rotary Club that terrorists are living in Tulsa and
Wichita ("Terror remarks mystify some," Dec. 2 Local & State).
Been's comments are not just humiliating and insulting to the Muslim
Americans of Wichita, but they are an insult to all of our friends within
the FBI and the Wichita Police Department with whom we are partners. These
comments should not pass easily. To accuse our community of having al-Qaida
cells without providing names or any evidence proves that the motive of the
chief was political. We refuse to be a punching bag that is hanging to be
pushed sideways for political gain.
Muslim Americans of Wichita have always been productive and professional in
all aspects of the society. We, members of the Islamic Society of Wichita,
were the first in the country to condemn the 9/11 attacks on America. As
one of the members of the community, I am a member of the FBI citizen
We have contacted officials at our FBI office in Wichita, and they were as
surprised by the chief's comments as we were. We also contacted Wichita
Police Chief Norman Williams, who spoke to the Tulsa police chief Thursday
morning. The Tulsa police chief apologized to Williams for his comments. We
were able to call the office of the Tulsa police chief demanding an
apology. At this writing, we are still waiting on a phone call.
If the Tulsa chief of police does not apologize to the Muslim American
community of Wichita, we will take the issue all the way to the Tulsa City
Council, demanding the chief's resignation.
Wichita residents must stay united and be aware of those who make comments
for political gain.
NABIL SEYAM is Spokesman of the Islamic Society of Wichit