Clock Boy’s Defamation Lawsuit Attacked as Lawfare: AFLC Lawyers Ask Court to Award Sanctions

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AFLC, December 6, 2016:

Today, lawyers for the Center for Security Policy (“CSP”) and Jim Hanson filed a motion in a Dallas, Texas court seeking to dismiss the defamation lawsuit filed by Mohamed Mohamed on his own behalf and on behalf of his 15-year old son, Ahmed Mohamed.

Ahmed is better known as “Clock Boy” for bringing a hoax clock bomb to his Irving, Texas middle school in September 2015 and causing a bomb scare that led to his arrest and suspension from school.  Later, Ahmed claimed the look-a-like briefcase bomb was just a “homemade clock.”  In reality it was neither a bomb nor a homemade clock, but a disassembled digital clock put in a small carrying case giving it the look of an improvised digital bomb or trigger for a bomb.

The Clock Boy’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from various media companies and personalities, such as Glenn Beck, the Glenn Beck Show, and the local Fox News station, for commenting on the hoax bomb affair during their programs.

Jim Hanson, a CSP senior vice president, a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, and an expert on counter-terrorism, was sued along with CSP and the other media defendants for suggesting that the entire affair was a PR stunt by Clock Boy’s father in order to generate a media firestorm about anti-Islamic bias and Muslim-victimization.

During Hanson’s appearance on the Glenn Beck Show, Hanson noted that the Clock Boy’s father had orchestrated an intense media campaign with the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”), which the U.S. government has formally linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and to the designated terrorist organization Hamas in several formal court filings in federal terrorism cases.

Hanson went on to explain that the entire affair had the look and feel of a typical “influence operation”—the standard operating procedure of what the Muslim Brotherhood calls its “civilization jihad” against the West.

The motion to dismiss, filed by the American Freedom Law Center (“AFLC”), along with AFLC’s local Texas counsel Pete Rowe, not only seeks dismissal of the lawsuit, but also requests the court to award attorneys’ fees and to sanction Clock Boy’s father for filing a meritless lawsuit whose only purpose is to silence those who might speak out publicly against such influence operations.

David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, issued the following statement:

“This lawsuit filed by Clock Boy’s father is yet another example of Islamist lawfare, which is a component of the Muslim Brotherhood’s civilization jihad.”

Yerushalmi further explained that the purpose of such lawsuits, formally labelled Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (“SLAPP”), is to intimidate into silence those who might comment publicly on the connection between jihad, terrorism, sharia, and Islam.

“The Islamists employ the progressive mainstream media to label any public criticism of a sharia-centric, jihad-driven Islam as ‘Islamophobic,’ and they add fear and financial ruin to the equation by utilizing the legal system to file SLAPP actions,”

Yerushalmi added.

Texas, like California and a number of other states, has an anti-SLAPP statute that requires a court to dismiss such lawsuits and to sanction those plaintiffs who file them.

Robert Muise, AFLC’s other co-founder and senior counsel, made clear:

“AFLC was formed in large measure to take on Islamists like CAIR who use and abuse the legal system with their cynical form of lawfare to undermine our constitutional liberties—notably free speech.  We have confronted these lawsuits across the country in federal and state courts and have defeated CAIR and its minions at every turn.  When appropriate, we have won sanctions.  This lawsuit will be no different.”

Federal Government Authorizes Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to Censor “Anti-Islam” Speech; Lawsuit Filed

3320334677Center for Security Policy, July 13, 2016:

Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under the First Amendment.

Section 230 provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Jihad Watch.

As alleged in the lawsuit, Geller and Spencer, along with the organizations they run, are often subject to censorship and discrimination by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because of Geller’s and Spencer’s beliefs and views, which Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube consider expression that is offensive to Muslims.

Such discrimination, which is largely religion-based in that these California businesses are favoring adherents of Islam over those who are not, is prohibited in many states, but particularly in California by the state’s anti-discrimination law, which is broadly construed to prohibit all forms of discrimination.  However, because of the immunity granted by the federal government, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are free to engage in their otherwise unlawful, discriminatory practices.

As set forth in the lawsuit, Section 230 of the CDA immunizes businesses such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from civil liability for any action taken to “restrict access to or availability of material that” that they “consider to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”

Robert Muise, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, issued the following statement:

“Section 230 of the CDA confers broad powers of censorship upon Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube officials, who can silence constitutionally protected speech and engage in discriminatory business practices with impunity by virtue of this power conferred by the federal government in violation of the First Amendment.”

Muise went on to explain:

“Section 230 is a federal statute that alters the legal relations between our clients and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, resulting in the withdrawal from our clients of legal protections against private acts.  Consequently, per U.S. Supreme Court precedent, state action lies in our clients’ challenge under the First Amendment.”

David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, added:

“Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have notoriously censored speech that they deem critical of Islam, thereby effectively enforcing blasphemy laws here in the United States with the assistance of the federal government.”

Yerushalmi concluded:

“It has been the top agenda item of Islamic supremacists to impose such standards on the West.  Its leading proponents are the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of Islamist activist groups in the West and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which co-sponsored, with support from Obama and then-Secretary of State Clinton, a U.N. resolution which called on all nations to ban speech that could promote mere hostility to Islam.  Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are falling in line, and we seek to stop this assault on our First Amendment freedoms.”

AFLC Co-Founders and Senior Counsel Robert J. Muise and David Yerushalmi, along with the plaintiffs in this case, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, will hold a Press Call from 2:00-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13.  To access this press conference call, dial (641) 715-3655 and enter code 111815.

Also see:

Café Countersuit Accuses Muslim Women of ‘Civilizational Jihad’

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Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian, June 24, 2016:

The attorney representing the Muslim owner of a popular Orange County café is countersuing a group of Muslim women who initially sued her business for anti-Muslim discrimination. The counter-suit accuses the group of waging “civilizational jihad” and trespassing.

According to the UK Guardian, David Yerushalmi of the Los Angeles-based American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), the lawyer representing Urth Caffé in Laguna Beach and café owner Jilla Berkman alleged that the initial lawsuit was part of a wider “civilizational jihad” being waged by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which aims “to weaken western civilization”. Further, Yerushalmi reportedly said the women’s discrimination suit was a form of “extortion”, calling the lawyers representing the seven female Muslim plaintiffs “ambulance chasers.”

The seven women, six of whom wore hijabs (a traditional head covering required under Sharia law and in most Muslim countries) claimed that they were asked to leave before they finished eating at the café, and suggested the owner called the police on them due to Islamophobia. However, the restaurant has a stated 45-minute time limit per table and Yerushalmi argued that his client said the women “were loud and abusive to the Urth Caffe employees and refused to give up their table per the stated policy.” Berkman personally authorized one of her employees to call the police on the women.

“That night, as every Friday night, a large number of young people, including a majority of whom are Muslim and of Arab descent, make up the base of Urth Caffe’s customers,” Yerushalmi wrote. “Not surprisingly, many of these customers are women wearing hijabs. None of these other Muslim women were asked to leave.”

Mohammad Tajsar, one of the attorneys representing the Muslim women, had painted the incident as just he latest in a series of hate crimes against Muslims in the area.

Yerushalmi pointed out in the initial case that “the lead plaintiff in the frivolous lawsuit is Sara Farsakh, a college-age activist for Palestinian causes who self-promotes her involvement in radical organizations, at least one of which calls for the destruction of Israel.” He also noted that “the organization behind the scenes organizing this fraudulent lawsuit is CAIR.”

(CAIR has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding operation.)

Yet CAIR’s Executive Director in Los Angeles, Hussam Ayloush, told the Guardian that contrary to Yerushalmi’s allegations, his organization was not involved with the Urth Caffé case. He blasted Yerushalmi in an interview with the Guardian‘s Nicky Woolf, saying “if anyone had any doubts about what happened on that day, those doubts are eliminated by the fact that the owners of Urth Caffé decided to retain David Yerushalmi. There are 1.2 million attorneys in America, and for them to choose the most hateful, the most bigoted attorney, tells a lot about the values that Urth Caffe’s owners hold.”

CAIR has often had a hand in representing Muslims in troubling situations. For example, they helped the families of San Bernardino terrorists Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. a

As for the claims of Islamophobia against Yerushalmi, he issued the following statement to the Guardian:

I represent Muslim Americans, running from jihad and seeking asylum. If you want to say I’m an anti-jihad lawyer, you’re 100% right. Am I anti-Sharia? Yes, I am. Am I anti-Muslim? Not if he doesn’t have a gun in his hand shooting at me.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz

Victory for Freedom of Speech

AFLC_FreeSpeechVic_Banner-3Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Oct. 30, 2015:

On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals completely reversed a lower court’s decision and ruled in favor of Evangelical Christians who were arrested for disturbing the peace at the 2012 Arab Festival in Dearborn, Michigan.  The Christians had bottles, eggs, and other items hurled at them by Muslims for publicly preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  A short video of this episode can be found here.

During this festival, a group of Muslims approached the Christians and asked to hear about the Gospel. The Christians obliged and began sharing about the Bible, Jesus, and their faith.  Other Muslims became angry and assaulted the Christians for their speech.  The police ended up arresting the Christians, not the Muslims.

The case, Bible Believers v. Wayne County, was brought by the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) on behalf of the Christians.

On August 27, 2014, a divided, three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit dismissed the civil rights lawsuit, finding the violent response of the Muslim hecklers justified the Wayne County sheriffs’ order to the Christians they would be arrested for disorderly conduct if they did not leave the festival area.

Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the Christians on every issue, completely reversing the lower court opinion, and directing the court to enter judgment in the Christians’ favor.

In its decision, the Sixth Circuit ruled the County and the two Deputy Chief defendants were liable for violating the Christians’ First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, and for depriving the Christians of the equal protection of the law. The court ruled the individual defendants did not enjoy qualified immunity, and the County was liable as a municipality for the constitutional violations.

In its opinion, the Sixth Circuit stated, in part:

“In a balance between two important interests—free speech on one hand, and the state’s power to maintain the peace on the other—the scale is heavily weighted in favor of the First Amendment. . . . Maintenance of the peace should not be achieved at the expense of the free speech. The freedom to espouse sincerely held religious, political, or philosophical beliefs, especially in the face of hostile opposition, is too important to our democratic institution for it to be abridged simply due to the hostility of reactionary listeners who may be offended by a speaker’s message. If the mere possibility of violence were allowed to dictate whether our views, when spoken aloud, are safeguarded by the Constitution, surely the myriad views that animate our discourse would be reduced to the standardization of ideas by the dominant political or community groups. Democracy cannot survive such a deplorable result.

“When a peaceful speaker, whose message is constitutionally protected, is confronted by a hostile crowd, the state may not silence the speaker as an expedient alternative to containing or snuffing out the lawless behavior of the rioting individuals. Nor can an officer sit idly on the sidelines—watching as the crowd imposes, through violence, a tyrannical majoritarian rule—only later to claim that the speaker’s removal was necessary for his or her own protection.”

In short, this was a complete victory for the Constitution and for all freedom-loving Americans who enjoy the protections of the First Amendment.

The AFLC is first and foremost a public interest litigation firm, which aggressively seeks to advance and defend America’s Judeo-Christian heritage in courts all across our Nation.  The AFLC’s mission is to fight for faith and freedom through litigation, education, and public policy programs.

A short video detailing AFLC’s mission and accomplishments can be seen here.

AFLC is comprised of attorney Robert Muise, a combat veteran Marine Officer and expert in Constitutional law, and attorney David Yerushalmi, one of the nation’s most knowledgeable attorneys on national security, Constitutional law, as well as Sharia (Islamic Law).

AFLC states on their website:  “The strength of our Nation lies in its commitment to a Judeo-Christian heritage and moral foundation and to an enduring faith and trust in God and His Providence. AFLC seeks a return to America’s founding commitment to receive God’s continued blessing to preserve the soul of this great Nation.”

This ruling demonstrates there are still bastions of sanity in the American judicial system where liberty under law still reigns in America, and where judges committed to justice win over the progressives trying to destroy our nation.

Let us celebrate this significant victory today and raise a glass to the courage of the Americans who withstood the attack, the AFLC for its work to defend our liberties, and the Court for doing what it should always do – rule judiciously.

AFDI free speech victory: Philadelphia must run ad against Islamic antisemitism

8c0a8e142cb440ce8754fc552c00e292Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, March 12, 2015:

Ace lawyer David Yerushalmi’s parting words below are worth setting in stone: “A word of advice to government bureaucrats doing the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding: we will sue you and you will lose. Act accordingly.”

At AFDI, we are not just raising awarness of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat with our campaigns; we’re also setting legal precedents that have implications that can’t be understated: for decades, the left has been chipping away at our First Amendment rights. Without most Americans realizing, they’ve placed almost as many hedges and restrictions around the First Amendment as they have the Second.

This has to stop. The freedom of speech is the cornerstone of any free society. Without it, a tyrant can do whatever he wants and those who oppose him won’t be able to speak out. That’s just what all too many of our “leaders” want today: to be able to do their evil deeds without a murmer of dissent from the public.

At AFDI, we are standing up and saying no. We are defending not just our own rights, but those of every American. In city after city, we are rolling back rules and regulations that for too long have allowed only one point of view to have a public hearing.

Enough is enough. If we don’t stand now for freedom, it could be lost to us forever. Our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the great cause of the defense of freedom. So do we.

“Federal Judge Orders SEPTA to Display ‘Stop the Islamic Jew-Hatred’ Advertisement,” American Freedom Law Center, March 12, 2015:

Late yesterday, a federal judge sitting in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted the American Freedom Law Center’s (AFLC) motion for a preliminary injunction, holding that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) refusal to run a “Stop the Islamic Jew-Hatred” advertisement on its advertising space violated the First Amendment.  As part of his ruling, the judge ordered SEPTA to run the ad.  (Read the judge’s Memorandum Opinion here).

The motion was filed on behalf of the advertisement’s sponsors, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and its co-founders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and is part of a civil rights lawsuit filed against SEPTA last year.

In May of 2014, AFDI submitted the below advertisement for display on SEPTA’s advertising space:

Pro-Israel Ad

SEPTA rejected the ad, claiming that it “tends to disparage or ridicule any person or group of persons on the basis of race, religious belief, age, sex, alienage, national origin, sickness or disability.”

In its court filings, AFLC argued that SEPTA’s speech restriction is content- and viewpoint-based in violation of the First Amendment.  The federal judge agreed with AFLC on all of the issues presented, holding “that SEPTA’s anti-disparagement standard violates the First Amendment,” and stating further that he was “compelled to [reach this conclusion] under established First Amendment precedent.”

Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented,

“AFLC has made it clear in lawsuits across the country that government censorship of speech will not stand in the face of serious judicial scrutiny.  Indeed, it is refreshing, but unfortunately rare these days, to have a case before a judge who is ‘compelled’ by the law and not by his only personal biases or political agenda when deciding important constitutional issues.”

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, added,

“Across the country, we have successfully litigated cases where government transit authorities permit the Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations to run ads misleading the public about Jihad and Islamic Jew hatred.  When our clients run ads exposing this Jew hatred, all of a sudden the transit authorities are worried about the ‘tone’ of the conversation and attempt to shut it down.  A word of advice to government bureaucrats doing the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding: we will sue you and you will lose.  Act accordingly.”

Also see:

Federal Judge Sending “Muslim Mafia” Case to Trial

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Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) v. Gaubatz, Center for Security Policy (CSP)

American Freedom Law Center:

Late last week, Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, sitting in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, denied the Council on American-Islamic Relation’s (CAIR) motion for partial summary judgment in a lawsuit CAIR filed against the Center for Security Policy (CSP) and several of its employees, thereby setting the stage for the case to go to a jury trial.

CAIR, which bills itself as “America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization,” sued CSP – a national security policy think tank – and its employees for working on a documentary designed to expose CAIR’s Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas ties and other illegal activities.

While dealing a blow to CAIR, the court granted most of CSP’s motion for summary judgment, sending a few of the surviving issues to trial on the presentation of the slimmest of evidence by CAIR.  Based on this “evidence,” the court concluded that there were factual disputes that had to be resolved by a jury.

With regard to six of the claims advanced by CAIR, the court had these harsh words to say:

The Court finds that Plaintiffs [i.e., CAIR] have thus far been frustratingly unclear as to the injuries at issue for each of the claims.  In addition, Plaintiffs have not specified which injury, if any, corresponds to which of the Plaintiffs, and have made little effort to explain the proximate cause linking the alleged tortious conduct to the injuries at issue.  Instead, Plaintiffs speak in broad generalizations, asserting injuries and damages and proximate cause across multiple counts and multiple Plaintiffs.  As a result, the Court has received only opaque and largely unhelpful briefing. . . .  Plaintiffs are not specific as to these issues, making resolution of the threshold questions of injury and proximate cause next to impossible for the Court.

Robert Muise, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), which is representing CSP and its employees, commented:

“While we believe that the court incorrectly went to great lengths to find scant ‘evidence’ to conclude that there are material issues of fact to be resolved by a jury, CAIR is nonetheless in trouble not only with its few surviving claims, but also with the possibility of a public trial that will most certainly expose CAIR for what it is – a sharia-ist front group.”

AFLC is planning to file a motion for reconsideration, arguing that the court misconstrued both the law and the facts with regard to the few surviving claims.

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented:

“We are certainly disappointed that the court did not rule entirely in favor of our clients, especially because CAIR manifestly abused the legal process in this litigation and because the facts uncovered clearly demonstrate that the documentary was undertaken legally and quite properly.  However, we are eager to prove in court what the documentary sought to prove in the public square: that CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group.”

In 2008, Dave Gaubatz, an experienced federal investigator, was hired as an independent contractor to put together a team of field researchers to assist in the documentary.  As part of the field research, Dave Gaubatz trained his son, Chris Gaubatz, to work undercover as an intern with CAIR, which required Chris to wear an audio-video recorder on his clothing to obtain recordings of the routine activities of a CAIR intern.  During this internship, it became clear that both a major fraud occurred within the organization and that CAIR officials were attempting to cover it up.  (AFLC represents five former CAIR victims in a federal lawsuit in the same court alleging fraud and a cover-up by CAIR.  AFLC has filed a motion for summary judgment in that lawsuit as well and is expecting a ruling from the court very soon.)

After the field research for the documentary was completed, Dave Gaubatz published a book entitled,Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that’s Conspiring to Islamize America, which was an exposé on CAIR.  Shortly after the book was published, CAIR filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., against Dave and Chris Gaubatz.  CAIR then amended its lawsuit to add CSP and several of its employees who were involved in the production of the documentary.  CAIR’s lawsuit alleges violations of various federal wiretap and hacking statutes as well as several common law torts, such as breach of fiduciary duty and trespass, among others.

The case has been ongoing for nearly four years.  At various times throughout the litigation, the court criticized CAIR and its in-house legal counsel for their inability to both efficiently manage the case and to comply with court procedures.  Furthermore, the court scolded CAIR’s in-house lawyers for filing untimely and substantively deficient motions.

CAIR, a self-described Muslim public interest law firm, was previously named as an unindicted co-conspirator and Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the successful prosecution of a terrorist funding cell organized around one of the largest Muslim charities, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF).  HLF raised funds for violent jihad on behalf of Hamas, and top CAIR officials were part of the conspiracy.  As a result, the FBI publicly terminated its outreach activities with CAIR.

Video: Sharia and the Threat to American Freedom

American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) Co-Founders and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise gave a presentation in Cincinnati to a standing-room-only crowd entitled, “Sharia: Threat to American Freedom.”  Yerushalmi explains sharia as “the enemy threat doctrine”. A highlight of Muise’s presentation is his discussion of American Freedom Defense Initiative’s freedom of speech cases. Watch this very informative video.