Dearborn’s Muslim “civil rights” agencies, already a chunky cauldron of alphabet soup, have to make room for four more letters with the debut of the Arab American Civil Rights League (ACRL). (“Diverse group of supporters turns out for new Arab civil rights organization’s debut”). Clearly, CAIR, ADC, AAPAC, CAAO, and ACCESS were leaving too much slack. And, like Israelites assembling at the call of the shofar, the usual mob of politicos, law enforcement toadies, and grandstanding opportunists came a-runnin’ to the braying of the phrase “civil rights.”
The ACRL’s mission, boiled down, will be “combating defamatory material on the Internet and other forms of media.”
One of its initiatives discussed in depth was fighting individuals who spread false and misleading information about members of the Arab American community on the Internet. Often those targeted by hate bloggers can be at risk for not getting jobs because of inaccurate reports on the internet. The ACRL will help individuals get their names cleared. “The old ways of just writing a letter and making phone calls is simply not enough. We have to do better, we have to be smarter, we have to move faster, we have to back our position with strong legal advocacy,” ACRL founder, president, and civil rights Attorney Nabih Ayad said.
Stated another way, what ACRL intends to target is free speech, especially the free speech of bloggers. They’ll be joining CAIR, the ADC, and other groups in silencing outspoken bloggers, like Bare Naked Islam, and getting them thrown offline. The “Islam is peace” smoke-and-mirrors campaign can’t compete with an active alternative media armed with facts.
Ayad and his Canton law firm are handling the ACRL’s lawfare goals. We see Ayad’s name around here often. He sued the NSA in 2006 because the Terrorist Surveillance Program was interfering with his phone calls to “individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations.” Debbie Schlussel has reported that Ayad has ties with Hezbollah, and, as was reported in the Detroit Free Press one of his former clients, “Mahmoud Youssef Kourani, was sentenced in June 2005 to 4 1/2 years in prison for raising money for Hezbollah inside his Dearborn home.”
The very idea of ACRL having an initiative for “fighting individuals” proves how badly shredded is the once-inspiring banner of civil rights. In the old days the phrase was synonymous with defending the liberties of individuals against unjust institutions using the law to destroy individual rights. Think of Governors Faubus and Wallace, think of the University of Mississippi against James Meredith, the City of Montgomery, Alabama against Rosa Parks, think of the Jim Crow laws, think of Separate but Equal, literacy tests and poll taxes. The phrase “civil rights” has suffered a terrible deflation since then. Now city and state officials jostle each other at the Fairlane Club to prove their support for a group transparently committed to squelching bad facts about area Muslim activists. These days “civil rights” is barely more than a euphemism for “shut up.”
According to ACRL, “those targeted by hate bloggers can be at risk for not getting jobs because of inaccurate reports on the internet. The ACRL will help individuals get their names cleared.”
Typical of reporting like this, no actual example is provided of any job-seeking victim of “false and misleading information.” We can only hope that our blog, or similar ones, might have played any part in keeping a Muslim Brotherhood member or a Hezbollah supporter out of a sensitive position by posting details of his actual affiliations and public statements. But that’s not spreading false information. And when you see the phrase “misleading information” in this context, you can bet it means, “accurate information that we were really trying to keep under wraps.”
What we see now is consistent with a pattern we noted several years ago. In October 2006, we commented on the way then Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Abed Hammoud, miffed by a blog comment he didn’t think was fair about the Arab American Public Affairs Council (AAPAC), threatened to deploy police powers against the perpetrator:
“I do however like to remind everyone that we all live under the law and that writing and posting falshoods (sic) can be punished. We also know that the great technology that allows people to smear others while they hide under screen names allows us to find out who they are if there is a need for a legal action. Thank you.” (“Assistant Prosecutor Threatens Action Against Critics on Web Forum”).
Several months before that, CAIR had to eat dirt in its defamation lawsuit against the blog site Anti-CAIR. Among Anti-CAIR’s statements by that CAIR decided not to litigate as falsehoods were these: “CAIR is not in the United States to promote the civil rights of Muslims. CAIR is here to make radical Islam the dominant religion in the United States and convert our country into an Islamic theocracy along the lines of Iran.”
Defamation suits are helpless against truth, which is why CAIR dropped it as a tactic afterits failed lawsuit against Anti-CAIR. And I’m extremely skeptical that ACRL will go that route, either. Ayad’s battle cry at Fairlane House, “[w]e have to do better, we have to be smarter, we have to move faster, we have to back our position with strong legal advocacy,” never mentions “backing their position” with either the truth or the facts. The recent national attacks against Lowe’s over their decision to stop advertising on “All American Muslim” weren’t based on facts, and both Dawud Walid and the ADC defamed both Lowe’s and the Florida Family Association as “anti-Muslim bigots.” And CAIR, in their own account of the hit they did on the Bare Naked Islam blog, made no pretense they were defending against any false information posted on BNI; instead, CAIR used reader comments to cast a false light on BNI as urging “threats of violence targeting mosques.”
As every conscientious counterjihad blogger knows, posting articles critical of creeping Islamism and its enablers is all it takes to be painted as a “hate blogger.” This is exactly how ACRL is tarring us at its inception.
Expect a lot more of the same in the New Year.