A Case Study in Lawfare

AFLC_LawFare_Banner (4)Every year for nearly two decades, in Dearborn, Michigan, the largest Arab-Muslim community in the U.S. occupied the streets and sidewalks of the city for the Arab International Festival.  Had this been a truly patriotic American embrace of Arab-American culture firmly dedicated to our liberties and national security, the event would have likely continued for decades to come.  But, in reality, the Arab International Festival, organized by the Arab Chamber of Commerce, was a dutiful bow to Arab-Muslim supremacism.  Christians who came to peacefully preach the Gospel were viciously attacked by the Muslim festival-goers or threatened with arrest or actually arrested.

In 2009, the City of Dearborn, working hand-in-glove with the Arab Chamber of Commerce, attempted to restrict Christians’ access to public streets and sidewalks to preach the Gospel—a blatant violation of the First Amendment’s protection of the right to free speech.  American Freedom Law Center’s co-founder and senior counsel, Robert Muise, sued in federal court and ultimately won, requiring the City of Dearborn to pay more than $100,000 in attorney’s fees. Ouch!

The very next year, Dearborn police took it to the next level and arrested a group of Christians peacefully preaching the gospel. Charged with criminal disturbance of the peace, the Christians turned to AFLC’s Robert Muise, who won an acquittal before a jury and then immediately sued the City of Dearborn and its mayor for violating the Christians’ civil rights. As a direct result of the lawsuit, the City and Mayor were forced to issue a public apology and to pay $300,000 to settle the matter.

Then, in 2012, in response to Christians peacefully preaching the Gospel, Arab-Muslim youth violently attacked the Christians. The Dearborn police, having been involved in the prior two lawsuits, had abandoned the festival and turned over the policing responsibility to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. Unfortunately, the County and its law enforcement personnel were no more schooled in the First Amendment and free speech than the Dearborn police and city officials.  As the Arab-Muslim youth threw rocks and bottles at the Christians lawfully engaging in free speech, the Wayne County Sheriff deputies informed the Christians that they must leave or they will be arrested. When the Christians asked why they, the peaceful preachers, were to be subject to arrest when the Arab-Muslim youth were the lawbreaking violent attackers, the deputies had no answer but to once again threaten arrest.  See video of violent assault.

The now-bloodied Christians left, but Robert Muise and AFLC sued Wayne County for violating the Christian’s right to free speech, arguing that Wayne County effectively enforced a “heckler’s veto”—that is, reducing our right to free speech to that speech permitted by Sharia (i.e., Islamic law).

The federal district court ruled in favor of the violent Muslims—perhaps out of fear or political correctness.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit panel consisting of 3 of the 15 federal judges who sit on the Sixth Circuit upheld the district court—effectively telling Muslims that violence is one way to undermine free speech—at least in Michigan.  But, Robert Muise and AFLC sought and obtained review of both of these decisions by the entire 15-judge Circuit—and won a hand’s down victory for the First Amendment and a defeat for Muslim violence.

All of this has just been the back story.  American Freedom Law Center dedicates itself to more than just litigation in defense of freedom and liberty; AFLC and its attorneys are the leading warriors in counter-lawfare—that is, using the courts to win legal victories against our domestic enemies and to force the Muslim Brotherhood types and their allies among the secular progressives to change their behavior.  To gain a better understanding of lawfare and counter lawfare, watch this five-minute video by David Yerushalmi, co-founder of AFLC.

What do we mean by forcing the bad guys to “change their behavior” through lawfare?  This: the collective toll of all of this costly litigation has created an insurance premium that makes the Arab-Muslim Festival too expensive to put on.  The result has been that this several decades-long festival has been a no-show for the past three years.  That is a radical change in behavior by the bad guys!

In other words, had the Arab Chamber of Commerce put on an American celebration of Arab culture, it would have continued to this day precisely because patriotic Arab Americans would have no problem with Christians peacefully preaching the Gospel—understanding that this is America not Baghdad or Damascus.  But, because the Muslim supremacist attitude in-bred in the Sharia dictates of Islam has long tentacles, which penetrate and infect all Muslim-oriented events, the Arab International Festival became less a celebration of Arab-American culture and the joy of becoming an assimilated patriotic American and more of a civilizational jihad threatening with violence anyone who dared to speak freely about anything other than Sharia and Islamic supremacism.

Five years, multiple lawsuits, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and legal fees paid to AFLC and its clients have brought these Islamic supremacists to their knees.  In one small corner of the globe, on this occasion, Sharia-adherent Muslims have learned that the U.S. Constitution and American liberty are no weak-kneed punching bags—at least not when AFLC stands ready to do battle on their behalf.