The Thomas More Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit over the cancellation of an event held at a public high school here in Michigan earlier this year. According to the complaint, Allegan High School and police officials decided in the middle of an event promoting an anti-Sharia law, while the event was actually going on.
The event was intended to promote two pieces of legislation, one requiring all schools to teach the history of the U.S. and Michigan constitutions and the other to prohibit the use of Sharia law in Michigan courts. It was to feature two primary speakers, Rep. Dave Agema and Kamal Saleem. Saleem claims to be an ex-terrorist, but there is good reason to doubt his story. He’s part of the “OMG, America is on the verge of being taken over by Muslims” brigade.
The police cancelled the event, they say, after they learned that the Muslim Brotherhood has put a $25 million bounty on Saleem’s head. They reasoned that this caused serious public safety concerns that they were not prepared for. The complaint tries to argue that this was completely irrational because Saleem speaks in public all the time at events and “has never experienced an issue with security.” And it implies that there was no bounty. In what appears below, Kevin Jones is Saleem’s bodyguard:
At this time Defendants Boysen and Brummel claim that an “unknown female” approached them, and stated that Kamal Saleem had a $25 million dollar bounty on his head…
When questioned about the $25 million dollar bounty, Kevin Jones stated that the claim started with a rumor that circulated approximately five years prior to the free speech event.
Kevin Jones stated he could not verify the claim.
Kevin Jones further stated that he could not put an amount to the claim, let alone the amount of $25 million dollars.
But then in the very next sentence:
Kevin Jones further stated that there had been death threats directed toward Kamal Saleem from Islamic extremists in the past.
Kevin Jones further stated that in the five years of speaking at events such as the free speech event, Kamal Saleem has never had a single incident—let alone any sort of outbreak of violence.
But several media reports say that the $25 million bounty claim came from Saleem himself, who has used it to give himself credibility — see, I’m so dangerous and such a threat to those evil Muslims that they want me dead. So the claims in this complaint are rather incoherent — he claims there is a $25 million bounty on his head, his bodyguard says that’s just a rumor and he can’t verify the amount but does say there have been death threats made on him. So were the police department’s fears legitimate or not? The complaint seems to want to have it both ways on that issue.
Now, they may well have a case here. The job of the government is to protect the free speech rights of everyone, even in the face of possible violence. If the KKK put a bounty on the head of some liberal politician, that would not mean the government can cancel all speaking events involving that person in order to protect public safety; if that was the case, all it would take is a violent threat in order to shut down a person’s ability to speak publicly and the First Amendment would be meaningless and held hostage to the whims of crazy people. So they may very well win this case on those entirely legitimate grounds.
But that’s not the end of the issue. They aren’t just suing the police, they’re also suing CAIR Michigan and People for the American Way. Why? Because those groups sent a letter to the school that hosted the event telling them that Saleem is apparently a fraud, a claim for which there is much evidence. Thus, the complaint says, they engaged in “tortious interference” of a contract for the event. But that’s pretty silly and those defendants are almost certain to be dropped from the case after a motion from their attorneys. The school and the local police may well be liable for their actions here, but CAIR and PFAW are not. Indeed, they were merely exercising their free speech rights in the matter.
But it gets worse. In an email promoting the lawsuit and, of course, seeking contributions, TMLC director Richard Thompson tries to tie all this to Obama:
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center commented, “It’s amazing how much clout CAIR has with the political establishment of both parties in Lansing and throughout Michigan and the nation. This, despite the fact that CAIR has its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, and the FBI’s former chief of counterterrorism, noted that CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.”
Continued Thompson, “Press accounts make it clear that an indictment naming CAIR as a defendant in the Holy Land Foundation trial was squelched by Attorney General Holder’s office despite vehement objections by FBI agents and the federal prosecutors in Dallas.”
That last part is a lie. How do I know that? Because the trial in the case he is referring to took place in November, 2008, before Obama and Holder were in office. The indictment was handed down long before they were there, of course. So Holder had nothing at all to do with the indictment, trial or ruling in the case (the ruling came down in May, 2009). But it’s a convenient lie, one that will no doubt keep the money flowing in from the ignorant rubes.