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Standing up for the critics of jihad

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 3, 2007 06:55 PM

You know that outrage you expressed over the flying imams/CAIR attempt to silence John Doe whistleblowers?

Well, there are other whistleblowers–the whistleblowers exposing jihadists, their funders, and their ideological apologists–who could use some of that same public outrage and help.

This week, we saw CAIR try to shut down Robert Spencer.

The Young America’s Foundation refused to be intimidated.

Now, the Legal Project of the Middle East Forum has stepped forward:

The Legal Project of the Middle East Forum announces its support of Robert Spencer and the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), the latest victims of what appears to be a targeted intimidation and defamation campaign by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) designed to silence critics of its organization.

Spencer, a well-respected author and the director of www.jihadwatch.org, spoke today for YAF on “The Truth about CAIR” on the campus of George Washington University. As a consequence of this invitation, YAF’s president Ron Robinson received a threatening and possibly defamatory letter written by CAIR’s acting attorney, Joseph E. Sandler, of the law firm Sandler, Reiff & Young, P.C.

Sandler’s letter (available in pdf format here) accuses Mr. Spencer, without offering any factual support, of being a “well-known purveyor of hatred and bigotry against Muslims,” with “a history of false and defamatory statements.” Sandler goes on to “demand that YAF cancel the subject session or else take steps to ensure that false and defamatory statements are not disseminated,” and states an intention to pursue a “legal remedy” against YAF, should CAIR deem statements made by Spencer at the session “false and defamatory.”

CAIR’s letter appears to be aimed at maliciously harming Spencer’s reputation, interfering in his lawful employment, and aimed to discourage both Spencer and YAF from exercising their fundamental rights to free speech and assembly. Furthermore, the letter wrongfully implies that YAF has an independent duty to censor Spencer, and that it may be subject to suit for allowing Spencer to speak on private property. It is our opinion that CAIR’s pre-emptive accusations are without merit, without any legal basis, and that CAIR has yet to prove any of its statements as true.

Therefore, the Legal Project hereby gives CAIR and its attorneys notice that it, too, will pursue “every available and appropriate legal remedy to redress any false or defamatory statements that are made” or have been made by CAIR and its attorneys against Spencer. We advise CAIR’s staff to govern themselves accordingly.

The Legal Project, established by the Middle East Forum in June 2007, is dedicated to safeguarding the democratic liberties afforded by the Constitution to U.S. citizens, namely the rights to free speech and free assembly. The Legal Project protects researchers and analysts working on the topics of terrorism, terrorist funding, Islam, and Islamism against those who seek to silence them through intimidation, defamation, and predatory lawsuits.

You can support MEF’s work here.

***

On another front, as I mentioned earlier this week, several authors are facing libel suits from a Saudi terror apologist. Their publishers are pulping or moving to pulp their books critical of jihad.

Bryan Preston has an interview at Hot Air with Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, one of the targeted scholars who has done yeomen’s work exposing the funding of global terrorism.

Take the time to listen here.

Jeffrey Breinholt at The Counterterrorism Blog has a must-read compilation of chilling Muslim libel suits. He writes:

Although truth is a defense to libel lawsuits, it generally takes thousands of dollars to establish the truth sufficiently to achieve a dismissal. Settlement is sometimes the best option, no matter how unmeritorious the allegations. When that happens, there will be no court opinion. Thus, we do not know how many more cases are out there in which someone facing steep legal bills chose to quietly settle. For those defendants, they will probably never mention the word Islam again in public. Who loses then? In the long run, fear of discussion has costs to society’s search for the truth. Some of us like the fact that information flows so efficiently, and we want to keep it that way.

See also this update on one of the bullied book publishers that isn’t backing down. Bravo.

Don’t just stay vigilant.

Be vigilant.

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