The Hamas-linked terror organization the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) launched a new website last month, boasting in its daily mailing that the site was meant to marginalize foes of jihad terror: “This means that when someone who may think an Islamophobe is a legitimate speaker and searches for the person on the Internet, they will see the hatred that speaker or the group they represent espouses. This information is being used by our friends and allies to delegitimize bigots.”
In a fund-raising appeal around the same time, Hamas-linked CAIR made a further boast: “In partnership with other groups, we also helped convince the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento to ban hatemonger Robert Spencer from its properties.” On their new Islamophobia website, CAIR makes this claim:
Also that month, the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento requested that the Kolbe Academy, a Catholic home school, rescind a speaking invitation they offered to Spencer. The Diocese referred to Spencer as a “key leader in the anti-Islam hate movement in the United States.”
This is a claim Hamas-linked terror org CAIR has made before. I wrote this back in February:
More importantly, Hamas-linked CAIR claims that the Roman Catholic diocese of Sacramento called me a “key leader in the anti-Islam hate movement in the United States.” This is almost certainly a lie, for several reasons. One is that in its initial chest-thumping about the Sacramento bishop caving in to their smear campaign last June, CAIR never mentioned this — and Hamas-linked CAIR has never been one to shy away from using a weapon that their marks hand them. What’s more, I spoke at the event in question, and the diocese of Sacramento had an information booth there — a strange thing for the diocese to have done if they really wanted to shun a leader of a supposed “hate movement.” The official statement that the diocese sent to Kolbe Academy said only this: “The Bishop didn’t think that it was in the best interest of Kolbe Academy to have a controversial speaker at a conference on education.”
So when Hamas-linked CAIR repeated this claim in October, I decided to act, and asked the acute and courageous free speech attorney Bill Becker of Freedom X to ask the Diocese of Sacramento to confirm or deny that it had made such a statement. He sent this letter (click to enlarge).
We have just received a response from the General Counsel of the Diocese of Sacramento (click to enlarge images):
November 12, 2014
William Becker, Esquire
11500 Olympic Blvd., Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Re: Your letter dated October 27, 2014, re Robert Spencer
Dear Mr. Becker:
I am the General Counsel for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento. Your letter, dated October 27, 2014, to the Most Reverend Jaime Soto, Bishop of Sacramento, has been referred to me for review and response.
Your letter cites to a blog post, appearing on the website of a third party organization, that attributes to the Diocese a statement regarding Mr. Spencer. The excerpt provided offers no attribution as to the speaker and no date as to when the statement was purportedly made. I reviewed the site and could find no further information other than the excerpt you provided. Prior to receiving your letter, we were completely unaware that this statement appeared on any website. Our lack of awareness is based upon the fact that the Diocese has never made any statement regarding Mr. Spencer, let alone a statement of the nature referenced in the cited weblog excerpt.
While it is a fact that the Bishop of Sacramento would not permit your client to speak at St. Stephen the Martyr Parish, this directive was addressed to the parish without comment and without a stated reason. The Bishop simply declined, consistent with his prerogatives as diocesan bishop, to authorize your client to speak at one of the parishes in the Diocese of Sacramento. He has not stated his reasons for doing so, nor will he do so at this juncture. Consequently, this decision was implemented without comment.
Indeed, his action in this regard was criticized in another blog, “Renew America,” which noted:
Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto apparently doesn’t want to deal with the protests of the “politically-correct” left. Or perhaps he just doesn’t like Spencer’s work. It’s hard to say, though, because the diocese has not issued an explanatory statement as to why it canceled Spencer’s parish talk.
A diocesan official, while acknowledging my email inquiry about the situation, did not elaborate.
(http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/13071 l) As the Renew America blog correctly notes, the Diocese has never made a statement or taken a position regarding the Bishop’s decision regarding your client’s speech, other than to simply deny permission for your client to speak at St. Stephen’s Parish as is the Bishop’s prerogative so to do. Accordingly, we respectfully note that your client’s complaint is premised upon a misunderstanding of the facts.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
James F. Sweeney
Thus not only is Hamas-linked CAIR’s claim that the Sacramento diocese called me a leader of a hate movement false, it is also false that Hamas-linked CAIR convinced the diocese to “ban hatemonger Robert Spencer from its properties” — as if I wouldn’t be allowed to set foot in a church there. In reality, Sweeney’s quote from Renew America strongly suggests that I was banned because the diocese didn’t want the controversy that Hamas-linked CAIR, gutter thug Nathan Lean of John Esposito’s Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and other foes of the freedom of speech had ginned up — as the diocese said at the time in its letter to Kolbe Academy: “The Bishop didn’t think that it was in the best interest of Kolbe Academy to have a controversial speaker at a conference on education.”
This is generally how it Hamas-linked CAIR’s brownshirt tactics work:
1. If Spencer is asked to speak at an event, they demand that the event or Spencer be cancelled.
2. Occasionally organizers choose to avoid the controversy and cancel the event or get a different speaker.
3. CAIR then lies about the reasons the invitation was canceled, pretending that it was done after a reasoned examination of Spencer’s “hate.”
Will Hamas-linked CAIR take down this false claim from its smear-and-defamation site, in light of Sweeney’s letter? That’s unlikely, although they themselves will also be hearing from lawyers in the near future. Meanwhile, this entire episode proves that the “facts” that terror org CAIR marshals on its website are anything but — if they’re lying about this, as they obviously are, they could be lying about anything and everything on that site. No one should be naive and credulous enough to take it for a reliable source of information.