A friend of us all, Mr. D.C. Watson
D.C. Watson responds to CAIR's challenge:
Muslims aim to challenge critics in America
Convention seminar focuses on best ways for followers to respond when their faith is attacked.
From the story:As the Plainfield-based Islamic Society of North America hosts nearly 40,000 Muslims this weekend near Chicago at its 42nd annual convention, there is plenty of talk here about how Muslims must answer their critics and, if need be, get tough with them. At a Saturday morning seminar attended by more than 200 people, the discussion included how to apply pressure on politicians who smear the faith, the benefits of corporate boycotts and what constitutes legal grounds for defamation suits.
"The key," Corey P. Saylor, government affairs director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations told the audience, "is to not just sit back and take it."
Arsalan T. Iftikhar, the national legal director for CAIR, said Saturday it was time for everyday Muslims to "defend the image and reputation of the community and Islam in general."
"I am here to teach you how the American Muslim community can legally empower itself to protect itself in the American courts," he said, as he went into the nuances of the limits of the First Amendment.
If need be, get tough with critics of Islam?
OK. Please allow me to explain to the pillars of the community over at CAIR that the American people have the right to criticize anyone and anything of their choosing. Critics of Islam, and there are multitudes of them, have the absolute right to speak the truth -- which is apparently what some people seem incapable of facing or seeing exposed.
Mr. Iftikhar, once this column reaches you, perhaps you can explain to the American people at what point telling the truth about something became actionable in a court of law. For example, if I were to write publicly that three former officers from your organization, Royer, Elashi, and Khafagi, are either in prison, on their way to prison, or have been deported from the United States for having been convicted of terror and fraud related crimes, would that be libelous?
If someone were to say that the Qur'an teaches Muslims not to befriend Jews and Christians -- as it states clearly in Sura 5:51 -- is that slander?
If an American or any other Westerner were to say that Muslims have committed more than 2500 terror attacks around the world since their cowardly attack of 9/11/2001, should he or she be sued?
Or what if an American were to state that Muhammad, while in his early 50s, married a 6-year-old girl named Aisha, and consummated the marriage when Aisha was 9? Should he be sued, even though Muslim sources say just that?
How about this? What if, in front of a room full of people, say, during a conference, an American says that Islam promotes violence against non-Muslims, and then produces a few verses from the Qur'an -- let's say Surah 9:5, or Surah 9:29, or maybe even Surah 48:29, to take just a few examples -- along with newspaper articles detailing Islamic terrorists claiming responsibility for carrying out attacks around the world and citing those same verses to justify their actions. Would CAIR consider that a "smearing" of Islam?
Uh oh! What if someone says that the Qur'an promotes wife-beating, and also teaches that men are superior to women, as is clearly stated in Qur’an 4:34: "Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them." Would you waste the taxpayers' money and the court's time with a frivoulous lawsuit?
What if an American, or many Americans, tell their fellow countrymen that members of the Council on American Islamic Relations are working toward the conversion of the United States and the rest of the West to Islam? Should they be sued for that? Or fired from their job? Or smeared as a bigot? Or, should they simply produce the following statements made by the people at CAIR that would support their claims?
Like this: "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran….should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth." ~ Omar Ahmad, former chairman, Council on American Islamic Relations
Or this: "I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future." ~ Ibrahim Hooper, Council on American Islamic Relations.
On the other side of the coin, would Americans and Westerners be able to sue CAIR and other prominent Muslims who label them "Islamophobes"?
After all, a phobia, according to Webster’s Dictionary is "an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation." So could CAIR be sued or countersued for defamation of character or slander for claiming that someone is an "Islamophobe," which as far as we can tell means to have an exaggerated, illogical fear of Islam? With the thousands of Muslim terror attacks on record, and the ever-growing list of the "tiny minority" of Muslims in America who are either behind bars, on the run from American law enforcement, or have been deported, is CAIR able to prove that someone’s fear is illogical? Or if "Islamophobia" actually exists at all? I suppose we’d have to leave that for a jury to decide.
We have not forgotten who carried out 9/11. We have not forgotten who carried out 3/11 in Madrid, or 7/7 in London. Mr. Iftikhar, Mr. Hooper, Mr. Awad, and the rest of you at the Council on American Islamic Relations: a few fellow Americans and I again invite you to step on stage in a televised national debate, so that you can explain what you would consider slander, libel, or defamation of Islam, and how you would propose to convince an American court of this. Please accept this invitation by contacting the directors at Jihad Watch and Faith Freedom. C’mon, it’ll be fun.