CAIR is at it again with their aggressive attempts at stifling free speech. This time they are demanding that a group which invited Robert Spencer, owner of The Jihad Watch blog, to speak, now retract their invitation because of what he MIGHT say. Here is the letter in it’s entirety:
Dear Mr. Robinson:
We are writing on behalf of our client, Council on American-Islamic Relations Action Network, Inc. ("CAIR"), of Washington, D.C. It has come to CAIR’s attention that YAF’s National Conservative Student Conference has scheduled a session for Thursday, August 2, 2007, at 4:00p.m. entitled, "The Truth about the Council on American-Islamic Relations," featuring Robert Spencer.
You should be aware that Mr. Spencer, a well-known purveyor of hatred and bigotry against Muslims, has a history of false and defamatory statements. Several of those statements have falsely accused CAIR of activity that would constitute a federal criminal offense.
CAIR is, in fact, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group. It has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CAIR has consistently taken a principled position against terrorism and extremism. In 2005 alone, CAIR backed a fatwa against terrorism, its anti-terror online petition was signed by more then 690,000 individuals; and produced public service announcements repudiating extremist ideologies.
For those reasons, we demand that YAF cancel the subject session, or else take steps to ensure that false and defamatory statements are not disseminated at that session.
Our clients have instructed us to pursue every available and appropriate legal remedy to redress any false and defamatory statements that are made at the session.
Please let us know by the close of business today, Wednesday, August 1, 2007, whether you intend to comply with these requests.
Joseph E. Sandler
Robert Spencer responded with this:
Note the personal smears, the attempt to bully and intimidate, and the non-specificity of the charges against me (they can’t be specific, because I don’t say anything inaccurate about them — or about Islam or jihad).
Note also the irony: this letter comes a day after CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper slandered me on national television by ascribing to me hateful words written by someone else — which appeared on this site for about an hour, during which, lo and behold, someone at CAIR was watching.
I was speaking to a YAF official who told me that I was scheduled to speak as planned: “CAIR can go to Hell and they can take their 72 virgins with them.”
My own reply to CAIR: remember McAuliffe at Bastogne.
And the group in question, Young America’s Foundation, responded with:
“CAIR can go to Hell and they can take their 72 virgins with them.”
This is, and always will be, their strategy. Sue everyone into silence. Sue sue sue and sue some more. Demanding that no one say a derogatory word about Islam or Muslims. This is not Pakistan and this kind of conduct should not be tolerated. If someone wants to throw a Koran in a public toilet then that should not be a hate crime. Burn a flag, not a hate crime. Speak in a public forum about the terrorist enabling group called CAIR, not a hate crime nor should that speech be stifled.
Notice how CAIR stated Spencer has already slandered the group, but no lawsuit has been filed. You really believe that this sue happy organization would NOT sue if they had even a itty bitty tiny chance of taking him down? They would be all over him. But lo and behold, no lawsuit was filed against him for the "false and defamatory statements"
No, this is a tactic to shut free speech down. Nothing is protected speech except that having to do with Islam apparently.
Allah at Hot Air has some great audio from the Andrew Wilkow show today where he interviewed Doug Hooper from CAIR….doh, did I say Doug? I forgot that Doug changed his name to Ibrahim, my bad. In fact Ibrahim hangs up on Andrew deep into the interview. The whole interview is worth a listen.
Hooper’s basic argument is that the act was done to intimidate the Muslim students which is just ridiculous. There were no Muslims in the bathroom at the time. The book was not the property of a Muslim group but is owned by the university and was inside the Interfaith room. While his taking of the book sure does constitute a theft and vandalism, trying to say that Muslims throughout the school were intimidated is just ridiculous.
A commenter brings up a great point. The author of the letter above is Joseph E. Sandler who is a long time attorney for the DNC. From his bio on the firms webpage:
From 1986 to 1989, Mr. Sandler served as staff counsel for the Democratic National Committee, with responsibility for delegate selection, campaign finance, federal and state election law matters, including campaign finance legislation and rulemakings, and legal oversight of political operations. He was general counsel of the Rules and Credentials Committee for the 1988 Democratic National Convention.
From 1989 until 1993, Mr. Sandler was a partner of Arent Fox, handling campaign finance and election law matters for Democratic national and state party organizations, Members of Congress, candidates and campaigns. He served as general co-counsel of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, as general counsel for the Democratic Governors’ Association and as counsel to several state Democratic parties.
From February 1993 until May 1998, Mr. Sandler served on the staff of the DNC as general counsel. He continues to serve in that position through his law firm.
While not shocking I do find it curious that a man who has obviously held Democrats in such high regard would do his best to shut up those with differing viewpoints, using the law as his club. Of course if Spencer was attacking Israel or supporting Palestine I highly doubt his firm, nor the Democrats, would object.