Captain Fields was ordered to participate in an event which he considered a "proselytizing" Islamic worship service at the mosque. The Tulsa police captain said he was ordered to tell the Oklahoma police officers under his command to attend the event at the mosque as well. Tulsa Police Captain Paul Fields was ultimately relieved of his command and investigated by the Internal Affairs Division (IAD) after his refusal to visit the Muslim mosque.
"Once some IAD squad begins to investigate you, even if you have an immaculate record as a cop, they dig until they find something that they can point to as being misconduct or corruption. In Fields' case it appears they were claiming he was prejudiced against Muslims and he wasn't fit to lead police officers," former police detective Sid Franes told the Examiner. Captain Fields filed legal action against the Tulsa Police Department after being removed from his command.
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law enforcement agency's punishment of the police captain. The court ruled that Fields should have visited the mosque and taken his fellow officers as he was ordered to do by the town's political leaders. "Here is another example of lawyers wearing black robes telling Americans what church services they must attend. Would they have ruled this way if it were a Muslim being ordered to attend and participate in a religious service at a Hindu temple? Or at a Catholic Cathedral? I think not. Fields was part of an object lesson to follow a politically-correct orthodoxy that's taking over the nation and its public and private sector institutions," former police lieutenant and campus police chief Lloyd Herrington said.
Tulsa Police Captain Paul Fields is not taking his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Thomas Moore Law Center, a groups particularly known for supporting First Amendment rights cases, is aiding the Oklahoma police captain pro-bono. Richard Thompson, lead council for the Thomas Moore Law Center, had this to say about the Tulsa case in a media release, "This case is another startling example of applying a double standard when Christian civil rights are involved. If this were a Catholic or Protestant prayer event, I am positive no Muslim police officer would have been ordered to attend. Further, no federal court would have approved the punishment of a Muslim officer had he refused to attend."
The event at the mosque was billed as the religious center's Law Enforcement Appreciation Day celebration. Captain Fields maintains that he event had nothing to do with showing gratitude for police officers. His attorneys contend the event actually involved Captain Fields and his officers touring the mosque and then meeting with the center's leadership before attending a Muslim prayer service. The prayer service was allegedly designed to acquaint the officers with Islamic religious material and a lecture on Muslim beliefs.
The Tulsa police officers were allegedly asked to attend the mosque event voluntarily but when a majority of the officers reportedly turned down the invitation, department leadership made attendance mandatory. Fields' attorneys also stated that the mosque had hosted a dinner in honor of 1993 World Trade Center bombing co-conspirator Siraj Wahhaj.