The freedoms in our country are what set us apart from the rest of the world. But those same freedoms can become endangered by those that have suspect intentions. I know, because I experienced that recently, when, during a protest I led against a group I know to have ties to terrorism, I was served with a lawsuit and a restraining order. At the beginning of next month, at a symposium sponsored by America’s Truth Forum, I will give my first public speech on the matter. The event will be held in the Dallas area, the same place that this unfortunate situation began. In speaking out, I hope to raise awareness at the fragility of our Constitution and hope to move people to strengthen it.
On October 12, 2007, I traveled to Texas from Florida to lead a protest on Sunday the 14th against the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), outside an event the group was sponsoring at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas. The purpose of the protest was to expose ICNA’s ties to the financing of Hamas. I had discovered that ICNA was the top donor to a charity based in Pakistan called the Al-Khidmat Foundation (AKF), while that same charity gave $99 thousand to the head of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, in August of 2006, and I believed that the public had a right to know about it.
During the protest, which lasted less than two hours, I was served with a temporary restraining order and a lawsuit. Although I wasn’t aware of the lawsuit part at the time, I knew that the restraining order was coming, because I was notified by the police department about it before the protest began. Regardless, I was in Texas to accomplish something, and I wanted to see it through, so I showed up, took the legal document from the server when it was presented to me, placed it in my pocket, and continued with the demonstration.
The protest was a peaceful one that featured about ten individuals holding signs and a speech given by me. While I was harassed by someone identifying himself as being from ICNA, who followed my every move with a video camera, no one on our side stepped out of line or did anything that would be seen as improper. No one shouted, and everyone acted in a courteous manner. Aside from being served the legal papers, everything went as planned.
There are seven Dallas-area plaintiffs in the case against me. They include the Dallas chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group that uses the internet to spread violent hatred against Jews and Christians, and three Islamic institutions owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), an organization that was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” by the U.S. government for a Hamas financing trial that began in July that named former leaders of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) as defendants.
The groups are being supported by the Dallas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), the organization that was raising funds for HLF’s defense. Essentially, every major American Muslim institution is involved in this case, in some shape or form. But why go after me?
Before traveling to Texas, I had written an article for FrontPage Magazine, titled ‘Fanatic Muslim Family Day,’ discussing ICNA’s upcoming event and announcing our group’s (Americans Against Hate’s) protest against it.
I began the piece by stating the following: “On Sunday, October 14, 2007, Six Flags Over Texas, a Dallas-area amusement park, will be invaded by a radical Muslim organization that has physical ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and financial ties to Hamas. While most patrons of the park come for the games and rides, those involved with this group’s event, Muslim Family Day, may very well have found an original and appealing way to spread anti-Western hatred.”
According to the plaintiffs, none of whom were mentioned in the article, when I stated “those involved,” I was talking about all of the co-sponsors of the event, including them – that I had labeled them all “fanatics” and “radicals.” But anyone reading the article could clearly see that it (the article) was concerning ICNA and not some vast group of co-sponsors. And frankly, I didn’t know that the majority of these organizations (plaintiffs) even existed. Furthermore, to this day, not one of the names of the organizations (plaintiffs) is found on the sponsor page for the event’s website. Not one.
As well, the plaintiffs claim that the article and the protest are threats to them – that somehow me writing or demonstrating against “them” could cause them physical harm. However, during a hearing that was held for the case, on October 29th, where 70 to 90 members of the Muslim community packed the courtroom, witnesses for the plaintiffs admitted that neither I nor any of the other protestors ever threatened them in any way, physical or otherwise. In fact, it was us that were threatened, when someone posted to the internet that “there better not be a protest or else.”
The suit against me is entirely a frivolous one, which attempts to deny my First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly. Really, the only threat that I pose to organizations such as these is my very existence. They do not want me writing about their friends and they do not want me giving speeches about their friends, because they fear that what I write and say may lead to arrests and the closures of groups – because what I write and say is fact and nothing less. So by taking me to court, they feel that they may have a chance to shut me up – to force me into financial ruin and shut me up.
In the end, will they succeed? That is up to the courts to decide, and so far the decisions have gone their way. If ultimately they do win, it will show that the freedom our countrymen lived and died for is little more than a facade, waiting to be dismantled and destroyed by our enemies within.
On February 1 - 2, 2008, I will appear as a featured speaker at America’s Truth Forum’s symposium, being held in Southlake, Texas. The name of the event is ‘Exposing the Threat of Islamist Terrorism,’ and it will include many of the biggest names in the field of counter-terrorism. It is here that I have chosen to make my first public speech regarding my case.
I hope you show up to listen, so get your tickets ASAP. Remember, THIS IS YOUR FIGHT TOO. It may be me today, but it will be all of us tomorrow, if we don’t work to stop them from silencing us now.
To help in the fight, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.