CAIR Dares To Dictate My Speech

March 14, 2011


CAIR has decided to teach me a lesson – along with about 500 patriotic Californians and public officials who turned out to protest fundraising efforts of radical Islamists in Yorba Linda. What we are supposed to learn is that all who have the temerity to speak out against the agents of radicalization in America will be vilified, slandered, targeted, and threatened. Instead, what is becoming clear is that CAIR’s very predictable guerilla tactics can be neutralized as Americans challenge the distortion campaigns.
In the Yorba Linda case, CAIR responded to a large community protest of fundraiser speakers Abdel Malik Ali and Sirhaj Wahhaj with a doctored hit video that showcased rogue hecklers gathered at a remote location. The 5-minute hit piece weaponized useful epithets, most shouted in the dark long after the official rally ended, by fashioning a highly edited montage of potent insults. At the ready, victimists filed complaints and filled message boards, pressuring employers, governing boards, oversight committees, and the media to sanction and punish speakers and organizers of the official rally.
CAIR operates in disregard of the expansive free speech rights constitutionally guaranteed in America. As a reminder to all, Chief Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court just reinforced the heightened protection afforded speech on matters of public concern in America when he wrote in the funeral protestor (Westboro Baptist) case: "As a Nation we have chosen . . . to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate." Despite this, CAIR pushes victimization claims at the local level where “hate-speech/incitement” codes, watchdog commissions, employer human relations departments, and willing media megaphones act as tolerance arbiters. The ensuing investigations and inquiries serve as powerful public examples and, regardless of outcome, are a formidable intimidation tactic.
At the time of this writing the coordinated assault continues against the planners of the Yorba Linda rally, even though speakers affirmed moderate Muslims in over a dozen different instances. An example of the typical institutional response, the Orange County Human Relations Commission met regarding the protest complaints and commissioners were prepared to deliberate toward a consensus with nine of the eleven members present having only seen the doctored CAIR video. This stunning reliance on a discredited group like CAIR -- unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-finance case as independently affirmed by federal court Judge Solis -- demonstrates the lack of regard for fact and willful predisposition to consider complaints from victim groups as worthy of redress. If the true mission were condemnation of “hate,” the actual instigators, Abdel Malik Ali, Sirhaj Wahhaj and CAIR would at least be agenda items. But rather than point a finger at the purveyors of radicalism, our politically correct minders often duck this duty and thus assist CAIR in the effort to alienate moderate Muslims from American cultural values.
During Rep. King’s homegrown radicalization hearing, Melvin Bledsoe, whose son is charged with shooting two Arkansas military recruiters, accused Americans of “sitting around and doing nothing about extremists.” He called on Americans “to stand up and do something about the problem.” Hanging out the “not welcome” sign as California did in Yorba Linda when known radicals came to town is one way to stand up. Speech is our most potent weapon in shaping political will and awakening our communities. Efforts to chill speech will only deepen resolve and rouse even more Americans to champion speech rights and defend fundamental liberties. Contributing Editor Karen Lugo is a Constitutional Law Attorney, founder of the Libertas-West Project, and Co-Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.

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