Here is the story, from Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch:
SIOA: Victory for Free Speech — Religious Liberty Bus Ads Restored to Miami Buses
MIAMI, April 21, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — SIOA applauds end to ‘campaign of hatred and intolerance’
The Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI) and Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) today announced that Miami-Dade Transit is restoring bus advertisements in defense of religious freedom that had been taken down after an anti-free speech campaign by a Hamas-linked Islamic hate group.
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The CBS Outdoor bus ad company restored the ads after Miami-Dade Transit bowed to a threatened lawsuit by its attorneys David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise (the latter of the Thomas More Law Center) on behalf of SIOA executive director Pamela Geller and associate director Robert Spencer for breach of contract and infringement of their First Amendment free speech rights.
The South Florida chapter of the Hamas-linked Islamic supremacist hate group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) had pressured Miami-Dade Transit to drop SIOA’s religious liberty ads, which offer aid to Muslims threatened for leaving Islam.
The SIOA ad at issue, which will now run on thirty buses, not just on the original 10 buses on which it ran originally in Miami-Dade County, stated: “Leaving Islam? Fatwa on your head? Family or community threatening you? Got questions? Get answers! RefugefromIslam.com.”
SIOA has evidence that, all over the world, Muslims trying to leave Islam are regularly threatened and even murdered. Recently, apostates from Islam have been killed in Bangladesh, Chad, Somalia, and threatened with death in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, and Nigeria – as well as in Australia, Britain and the United States, where the teenage Christian convert Rifqa Bary has been threatened and victimized. Saudi Arabia also subjects apostates to capital punishment.
Yet the Executive Director of the South Florida chapter of the CAIR hate group, Muhammed Malik, made a patently false and misleading statement in a Miami Herald story about Miami-Dade Transit’s capitulation to Sharia: “Islam guarantees freedom to and freedom from religion. . . . [We] reject as un-Islamic any extremist interpretation that sanctions the killing of any individual because she decided to ‘leave Islam.'”
Malik’s statement is explicitly contradicted by the command of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam and supreme example of conduct for the Muslim: “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, then kill him.” (Bukhari 9.84.57) Contrary to Malik’s claim, all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that a sane adult male who leaves Islam must be killed. As pointed out above, this is not some theoretical Sharia dictate; this is extant law in every Muslim country that follows Islamic law.
Thus, the internationally renowned Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi of Al-Jazeera has said that “Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished…The majority of them…agree that apostates must be executed.”
Ironically, the Council on American-Islamic Relations presents itself as a civil rights organization, a claim often parroted by media outlets; but in reality, CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. In this trial, the evidence demonstrated that CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Niwad Awad (who still serves as CAIR’s executive director), were present at a Hamas planning meeting in Philadelphia in 1993 where they and other Hamas operatives conspired to raise funds for Hamas and to promote jihad in the Middle East. CAIR has steadfastly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups.
Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror:
- Ghassan Elashi, founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter, in 2009 received a 65-year prison sentence for funneling over $12 million from the Islamic charity known as the Holy Land Foundation to the jihad terrorist group Hamas, which is responsible for murdering hundreds of Israeli civilians
- Mousa Abu Marzook, a former CAIR official, was in 1995 designated by the U.S. government in 1995 as a “terrorist and Hamas leader.” He now is a Hamas leader in Syria.
- Randall Royer, CAIR’s former civil rights coordinator, in 2004 began serving a 20-year prison sentence for aiding al-Qaida and the Taliban against American troops in Afghanistan and recruiting for Lashkar e-Taiba, the jihadist group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai jihad massacres.
- Bassem Khafagi, CAIR’s former community relations director, was arrested for involvement with the Islamic Assembly of North America, which was linked to al-Qaida. After pleading guilty to visa and bank fraud charges, Khafagi was deported.
- Rabih Haddad, a former CAIR fundraiser, was deported for his work with the Global Relief Foundation (which he co-founded), a terror-financing organization.
In 1998 Omar Ahmad, CAIR’s co-founder and longtime Board Chairman, said: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”
After he received unwelcome publicity as a result of this statement, Ahmad denied saying it, several years after the fact. However, the original reporter, Lisa Gardiner of the Fremont Argus, stands by her story.
CAIR’s spokesman Ibrahim Hooper once said: “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.”
CAIR also defamed the leaders of FDI and SIOA, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, in its press release about the initial but short-lived success of its campaign of intimidation against the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion.
Pamela Geller, Executive Director of FDI and SIOA, is the founder and publisher of the acclaimed news and commentary blog AtlasShrugs.com. She is also a regular columnist for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government and Big Journalism, as well as for Newsmax. Geller is the author (with Robert Spencer) of the soon-to-be-released book, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America (foreword by Ambassador John Bolton) (Simon & Schuster).
Pamela Geller’s videoblogs (“vlogs”) on a wide range of current events have won enthusiastic acclaim, as have her exclusive Atlas interviews with internationally renowned authorities on jihad, terrorism, and related issues, including John Bolton, Geert Wilders, Bat Ye’or, Ann Coulter, Mark Steyn, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, Steve Emerson, Christopher Hitchens, Natan Sharansky, and many others. (Videos of many of these interviews are available at AtlasShrugs.com.) She routinely confers with leading scholars on the Middle East, Islam, Eurabia, China and Russia.
Geller has broken numerous important stories — notably the questionable sources of some of the financing of the Obama campaign. Her articles /op-eds have also been published in The Washington Times, Big Government, The American Thinker, Newsmax, Human Events, Israel National News, World Net Daily, Front Page Magazine, Big Journalism, New Media Journal, Big Hollywood, and Canada Free Press, among other publications.
Geller began her publishing career at The New York Daily News and subsequently took over operation of The New York Observer as Associate Publisher. She has made appearances on Hannity and Red Eye on the Fox News channel, and made a highly praised appearance on the Joy Behar Show in February 2010. She is a frequent guest on talk radio and has regular segments on two radio shows, The Jaz McKay Show and Jamie Allman In the Morning. She speaks regularly to organizations, synagogues and groups across this nation. Geller was a featured speaker at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend in 2009.
Robert Spencer is a highly acclaimed expert on Islam and Sharia, the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of ten books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). Spencer is a weekly columnist for Human Events and FrontPage Magazine, and has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community.
Spencer has also written eleven monographs and well over three hundred articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. His work has been translated into many languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, German, Czech, Portuguese, Finnish, and Bahasa Indonesia. His articles on Islam and other topics have appeared in the New York Post, the Washington Times, the Dallas Morning News, Canada’s National Post, Middle East Quarterly, AtlasShrugs.com, First Things, National Review, and many other journals.
Spencer has appeared on the BBC TV, CNN, FoxNews, PBS, MSNBC, CNBC, C-Span, and France24, as well as on numerous radio programs including Bill O’Reilly’s Radio Factor, The Laura Ingraham Show, Bill Bennett’s Morning in America, Michael Savage’s Savage Nation, The Michael Reagan Show, and The Sean Hannity Show. He has been a featured speaker at Dartmouth College, Stanford University, New York University, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia, and many other colleges and universities.
SIOA is one of America’s foremost organizations defending human rights, religious liberty, and the freedom of speech against Islamic supremacist intimidation and attempts to bring elements of Sharia to the United States.