One of the reasons why we have such a cult of victimhood in today’s society is because being offended is currency. It buys things for you. But only for some people. If conservatives are offended, it matters not a whit. But if Muslims are offended, everyone jumps to mollify them, in part to stave off the bombs and machetes, and in part because Islamic advocacy groups have so skillfully played the victim card and pushed into the mainstream the assumption that to oppose jihad terror and Sharia oppression constitutes racism and bigotry.
The problem with shutting down speech that some find offensive, however, is that it gives the offended groups total power over the public discourse. And that means the end of a free society and the beginning of an authoritarian regime.
What happened in this case was that Seattle took down an FBI wanted poster because the people on it were Muslims. We are trying to put it back up. The safety of the people should not be secondary to the putative offense being taken by peaceful Muslims. If they’re offended by depictions of jihad terrorists, do they really oppose them in the first place?
“Free Speech Lawsuit: American Freedom Defense Initiative v. King County ‘Brief on the Merits,'” by Pamela Geller, Geller Report, March 19, 2018:
“We now hold that this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”
AFDI is suing Seattle King County for refusing to run our ad — an FBI wanted poster featuring the world’s most dangerous terrorists. In accordance with sharia law, Seattle denied the ad saying it was offensive to Muslims.
Here is the back story. It all started in July 2012, when the FBI ran a terrorism awareness campaign featuring bus ads depicting photos of 16 wanted terrorists, all of whom were Muslim. This was a publicity campaign sponsored by the Joint Terrorism Task Force for the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program, or RFJ. But then the leftists and Islamic supremacists complained that the ads were “Islamophobic,” and they came down – and unbelievably, Seattle is refused to allow my group, the AFDI, to put them back up.
We have asked that the ads (below) be put up forthwith, as the county’s refusal to run them is an unconstitutional restriction on our freedom of speech.
Moreover, the RFJ program has been successful: Through it, the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security has paid more than $125 million to more than 80 people who offered genuine information that led to jihadis being jailed and prevented acts of jihadist terror. This program was instrumental in leading to the arrest of jihadist Ramzi Yousef, who is now in prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center jihad bombing. In short, this program has saved lives.
We sued Seattle King County.
Our opening brief and excerpts of record were just filed in the Ninth Circuit.
Citing Supreme Court ruling in the Matal v. Tam, it compels the court to conclude that King County’s (“County”) “demeaning or disparaging” and “harmful or disruptive” restrictions on AFDI’s political speech are unconstitutional. In fact, these speech restrictions are facially invalid.
There is no basis to conclude otherwise. Unlike a trademark, which has a commercial component, the speech at issue here is pure political speech addressing a public issue—global terrorism. Consequently, “the viewpoint discrimination rationale renders unnecessary any extended treatment of other questions raised by the parties.”
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Notice of Docket Activity
The following transaction was entered on 03/14/2018 at 6:21:35 AM PDT and filed on 03/14/2018
Case Name: American Freedom Defense Initi, et al v. King County
Case Number: 17-35897
Submitted (ECF) Opening Brief for review. Submitted by Appellants American Freedom Defense Initiative, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Date of service: 03/14/2018.  [17-35897] (Muise, Robert)
Notice will be electronically mailed to:
Mr. Robert Joseph Muise, Attorney
Mr. David J. Hackett
David Yerushalmi, Attorney
The following document(s) are associated with this transaction:
Document Description: Main Document
Original Filename: 17-35897 Opening Brief.pdf
Electronic Document Stamp: