And it looks as if the courageous Andrew Whitehead of Anti-CAIR has not had to back down one inch. His site says: “The policies and procedures of Anti-CAIR (ACAIR) have not changed in any way as a result of the CAIR lawsuit settlement.”
From the New York Sun, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
An Islamic group has settled a $1.35 million libel suit against one of its critics, who operates a Web site charging that the organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has links to terrorism.
The terms of the settlement between the Muslim group and Andrew Whitehead of Virginia Beach, Va., are confidential, but the Web site, www.anti-cair-net.org, still includes the statements Cair contended were libelous.
“Nothing has changed in that regard. It’s as if this lawsuit had never existed,” said Mr. Whitehead, 48, a former Navy sailor.
An attorney for Mr. Whitehead, Reed Rubenstein, described the outcome as a victory for his client. “This is the first time somebody has stood up and stopped these folks,” the lawyer said.
A spokesman for Cair, Ibrahim Hooper, confirmed that the libel case was dismissed earlier this month on the request of both parties. “It was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount,” he said.
Asked if he was suggesting that Mr. Whitehead paid the organization to drop the case, Mr. Hooper said, “We filed the suit.” Asked again, the spokesman simply repeated the statement.
An attorney for Cair, Jeremiah Denton III, declined to comment.
The group’s lawsuit, filed in a Virginia state court in March 2004, accused Mr. Whitehead of libeling Cair by calling it “a terrorist supporting front organization that is partially funded by terrorists.” The suit also charged that Mr. Whitehead falsely claimed Cair was founded by supporters of a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, Hamas, and that the organization favored the “overthrow of the United States Constitution” and the imposition of Islamic law, known as Shariah.
In June, Cair amended its suit against Mr. Whitehead, dropping its challenge to several of the statements, including the claim that the group was started by Hamas members and has received funds from terrorists.
Mr. Hooper said that despite the withdrawal of the suit, his organization, which describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group,” still contends that Mr. Whitehead’s assertions are false. “We’ve always denied them. We continue to deny them,” the spokesman said.
Mr. Rubenstein said Cair’s interest in settling the suit intensified late last year just as a judge was considering whether the group should be forced to disclose additional details about its inner workings, including its financing and its alleged ties to Hamas and other terrorist groups.
“It would have opened up Cair’s finances and their relationships and their principles, their ideological motivations in a way they did not want to be made public,” said Mr. Rubenstein, who represented Mr. Whitehead without charge.