I’m always big on stories that report wins in the battle against censorship. Part of the battle is just exposing the people and groups that seek to veto other opinions and viewpoints. The other part of the battle is using what’s left of our justice system to hammer these self-appointed guardians of public speech.
ACT for America, is – according to their website, “the nation’s largest non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization devoted to promoting national security and defeating terrorism. ACT for America has 280,000 members organized in more than 890 chapters nationwide and 11 countries worldwide.”
One of their chapters is located in Knoxville, Tennessee. As an informational service to the community, the local president, John Peach, organized an evening presentation on the menace of Sharia law and attempts by local governments across America to institute provisions for incorporating it.
Other countries like the U.K., have attempted to allow Sharia to co-opt their legal system and it has been an abject failure in which, among other things, women forced to plead for separation or divorce from a battering spouse, have been denied assistance in keeping themselves and their families safe.
Mr. Peach and his associate, Bill French applied for use of an auditorium at Farragut High School, part of the Knox County school district. The request was initially granted and the event was scheduled. That was until the Council for American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”), was alerted.
CAIR is a community organizing and propaganda arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and politically affiliated with Hamas. In fact, the original name of the organization, before it was decided for public relations purposes to change it, was the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee.
This organization has close ties to every mosque in the United States that have been subjects of FBI anti-terror investigations and itself was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial – the largest ever terrorism funding case to date.
One recent example is the connection between CAIR and the Islamic Center of Oklahoma City, the mosque attended by Alton Nolen the man who beheaded a co-worker in Moore, Oklahoma, a devotee of Suhaib Webb, the Imam at the center. The current imam, Imad Enchassi, has told the congregation that CAIR Oklahoma City Executive Director Adam Soltani “doesn’t do anything without consulting me.”
Responding to the news of the town-hall meeting, CAIR, in the person of communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, swung into action. Hooper and Muslim Youth Director at the University of Tennessee, Abdul Raman Murphy, began firing off a barrage of complaints labeling ACT! as a ‘hate-group’. CAIR has found that Saul Alinsky’s recommendation of “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”, is one of the most potent weapons in their arsenal of tactics. In this case they provided the rationale for canceling the meeting.
Knox County Schools superintendent James P. McIntyre, Jr., was warned that ACT!’s seminar might provoke violence and disrupt the school environment. Farragut High’s principal, Michael F. Reynolds also cemented McIntyre’s inclination to withdraw approval for the event, in speculating that it would convert the school into “a public forum for harassment and bullying practices that contradict the open-minded, academic discussion we seek to teach and foster.”
CAIR was so certain that this was the end of the matter, they crowed about it on their website:
“We appreciate the prompt and appropriate response to concerns of Muslim parents and others that hosting this event in a public school would send an implicit message of endorsement for the bigoted views of the speakers,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper
The school district, for its part, joined with CAIR in celebrating. A school official today told CAIR: “I am happy to announce that our Central Office has canceled the ACT event. Thank you for your concern and support.”
It’s rather ironic that the district’s decision itself is the epitome of contradicting “open-minded academic discussion”. ACT! In partnership with Freedom X, one of many legal groups defending free speech, filed a legal action in Federal Court in August and the school district settled out of court, a month and a half later.
Part of the terms was the agreement on the district’s part to adopt a blanket policy that “approval for use of school buildings and property will not be withheld based upon the content of the message or viewpoint of the applicant.”
Bill Becker, president of Freedom X, commented that “This is a victory for free speech. Sharia is incompatible with our constitutional and legal protections. That was the message Knox County school officials tried to censor. It is unfortunate we have to educate the educators about our freedoms, but we are thankful that Knox county attorneys recognized litigation would have been futile for the district.”