We win a round. From Yahoo News:
NEW YORK, June 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The human rights group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) today applauded a decision by PayPal, the leading online payment service, to reinstate the accounts of AtlasShrugs.com, Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI), and SIOA itself, after briefly suspending them over spurious and politically motivated charges of "hate."
Atlas Shrugs founder and publisher Pamela Geller, who is also the Executive Director of SIOA, received this e-mail last Friday from PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy Department: "[A]fter a recent review of your account, it has been determined that you are currently in violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy. Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime."
PayPal sent similar notices to SIOA and to the Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI), another group Geller helped establish.
Geller explained: "The decision that Atlas Shrugs, SIOA, and FDI constitute 'hate sites' was an example of the ongoing attempt by Leftists and Islamic supremacist groups like the Hamas-linked hate group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to rule their political opposition outside the bounds of acceptable and reasonable political discourse."
She added: "The goal behind accusations of 'hatred' and 'bigotry' leveled against groups like SIOA and FDI, which are dedicated to defending human rights and American Constitutional values, is to silence them so that Islamic supremacists can have free rein to restrict the rights of Americans without opposition. PayPal's capitulation to this smear campaign was an ominous sign."
But on Monday, a PayPal representative contacted Geller to inform her that Atlas Shrugs, SIOA and FDI had been mistakenly designated "hate sites," and that the designations would be removed. The reversal follows an avalanche of critical emails PayPal received from followers of the enormously popular Atlas Shrugs blog.
PayPal's pro-freedom reversal comes just as the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a press release applauding its earlier capitulation to the foes of free speech and the politicization of services. CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department during the trial of the Islamic charity known as the Holy Land Foundation.
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 SIOA and FDI, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, in its press release about the initial but short-lived success of the attempt to include PayPal in its hate and smear campaign.
Pamela Geller, Executive Director of SIOA and FDI and founder and publisher of the award-winning news and commentary blog AtlasShrugs.com, is also a regular columnist for Andrew Breitbart's Big Government and Big Journalism. Geller is the author (with 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). The book carries enthusiastic endorsements from Geert Wilders, Andrew C. McCarthy, Brad Thor, Caroline Glick, David Horowitz, and Mark Steyn.
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.
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.
Join SIOA's Facebook page here.