Sharia-Mandated Attacks on Freedom of Speech at Home and Abroad

New York, New York (September 12, 2012) — Yesterday, Americans all across the nation paused to remember that fateful day in 2001 when Islamic terrorists, guided by fundamental principles of sharia-mandated jihad, attacked U.S. soil and killed thousands of innocent American civilians.  The nation took a moment to remember those who lost their lives to this brutal and cowardly attack and to honor those brave men and women who responded with courage and valor, including those men and women who are currently serving in foreign lands to ensure that our nation remains the “land of the free.”

Today, Americans are waking up to news stories that Muslims in Egypt and Libya are engaging in criminal acts of violence, including murder, and desecrating the American flag in protest to a video critical of Islam that was created by an American citizen in California—a video that is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  While the response by the Obama administration was critical of the violence, it noticeably did not defend the American citizen’s right to freedom of speech.  Instead, the Obama administration stated, “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.”  Upon reading this statement, some have questioned: Where was the government’s condemnation of “intentional efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others” when it provided funding for “art” that included placing a crucifix in a jar of urine?  Apparently, this “religious tolerance” only goes one way: speech critical of Christianity and Judaism is protected, while speech critical of Islam is condemned.

Unfortunately, sharia-mandated attacks against those who protest Islam is not limited to foreign lands such as Egypt and Libya.  This past June, during the 2012 Arab International Festival held in Dearborn, Michigan, a group of Christian evangelists were pelted with stones, bottles, and debris by Muslim youths who opposed the Christians’ message while deputies from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office stood idly by, allowing the criminal assault to take place.  Many of the Christians were bloodied by the attack.  When Ruben Israel, the leader of the Christian group, asked the law enforcement officers present to step in and enforce the criminal law so that the Christians could exercise their right to freedom of speech, Israel was given the option of either leaving the festival or facing arrest.  

Shocking video of the incident has gone viral on YouTube, which can be viewed here.

Israel retained the legal services of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), a national, nonprofit public interest law firm that specializes in defending the free speech rights of Christians.  

Robert Muise, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of AFLC, commented, “Make no mistake, Christians who defend their religion and speak out against Islam are being persecuted right here in the United States.  This is not only happening in Egypt and Libya.  And what you are witnessing is the enforcement of sharia by a hostile mob and law enforcement aiding and abetting in violation of our Constitution.”  

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi added, “Federal and local government officials appear to be serial violators of the Constitution when it comes to defending the free speech rights of Christians who seek to evangelize Muslims or criticize Islam.  Under sharia, this is known as dhimmitude, which is the status that Islamic law mandates for non-Muslims, primarily Jews and Christians, that deprives them of equality of rights and seeks to subdue them under Islamic rule.”  

AFLC will soon be filing a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Israel and the Christian group, whose constitutional rights were violated by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.