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Muslim groups sue counter-terror activist

A counter-terrorism activist has been sued for protesting an amusement park event sponsored by a Muslim group accused of helping finance the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

Joe Kaufman of Florida-based Americans Against Hate says he was at the Six Flags Over Texas park in Arlington Oct. 14 to demonstrate against the Islamic Circle of North America, or ICNA.

Kaufman, writing in FrontPageMagazine, said his purpose was to expose ICNA’s alleged ties to the financing of Hamas.

ICNA was the top donor to the Pakistan-based charity Al-Khidmat Foundation, Kaufman pointed out, which gave $99,000 to the head of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal.

“I believed that the public had a right to know about it,” he explained.

Kaufman has been sued by the Dallas chapter of the Muslim American Society, three Islamic institutions owned by the North American Islamic Trust, the Dallas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Legal Fund of America.

Kaufman argues the Muslim American Society “uses the Internet to spread violent hatred against Jews and Christians” and notes the North American Islamic Trust was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” by the U.S. government for a Hamas financing trial that began in July in Dallas.

Kaufman plans to tell his story at a Feb. 1-2 conference in Dallas, “Exposing the Threat of Radical Islamist Terrorism,” which is part of a continuing series organized by America’s Truth Forum. Other speakers include experts on Islam and counter-terrorism such as Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney, Caroline Glick and David Schippers. Talk hosts Roger Hedgecock and Mike Gallagher will serve as emcees.

WND reported in 2004 that ICNA and the Muslim American Society heled a “Great Muslim Adventure Day” giving Muslims exclusive use of Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J.

The ICNA website boasted, “First Time Ever – All Day – Entire Park Exclusively for Muslims.”

WND attended a conferene in Orlando, Fla., co-sponsored by ICNA featuring a speaker who voiced empathy and support for suicide bombers, denied Muslims were involved in 9-11, characterized the war on terror as a conspiratorial Zionist plot to destroy Islam and blamed attacks on affirmative action on “the rise of the Jewish cracker.”

In his book, “American Jihad,” terrorism expert Steve Emerson wrote ICNA “openly supports militant Islamic fundamentalist organizations, praises terror attacks, issues incendiary attacks on Western values and policies, and supports the imposition of Sharia,” or Islamic law.

Muslim Family Day

Kaufman contended his protest was “a peaceful one that featured about 10 individuals holding signs and a speech given by me.”

“While I was harassed by someone identifying himself as being from ICNA, who followed my every move with a video camera, no one on our side stepped out of line or did anything that would be seen as improper,” he said. “No one shouted, and everyone acted in a courteous manner.”

Prior to his October visit to Texas, Kaufman wrote a piece for FrontPage titled “Fanatic Muslim Family Day,” which announced his planned protest.

He wrote the amusement park would “be invaded by a radical Muslim organization that has physical ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and financial ties to Hamas.”

“While most patrons of the park come for the games and rides, those involved with this group’s event, Muslim Family Day, may very well have found an original and appealing way to spread anti-Western hatred,” Kaufman wrote.

In response to the article, the Islamic groups prepared a temporary restraining order. Kaufman said he knew the order was coming, because he had been notified by the police department.

“Regardless,” Kaufman said, “I was in Texas to accomplish something, and I wanted to see it through, so I showed up, took the legal document from the server when it was presented to me, placed it in my pocket, and continued with the demonstration.”

The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit – besides ICNA – who were not specifically named in the article, complained Kaufman meant to include them when he referred to “those involved” as “fanatics” and “radicals.”

But Kaufman contends the article was only about ICNA, arguing he was unaware some of the groups even existed. He pointed out none of the names of the other organizations were found on the sponsor page for the event’s website.

The plaintiffs, Kaufman said, “claim that the article and the protest are threats to them – that somehow me writing or demonstrating against ‘them’ could cause them physical harm.”

He notes that during an Oct. 29 hearing, in which more than 70 members of the Muslim community packed the courtroom, “witnesses for the plaintiffs admitted that neither I nor any of the other protesters ever threatened them in any way, physical or otherwise.”

Kaufman claims that, if anything, he and his colleagues were the ones who were threatened when an Internet poster warned “there better not be a protest or else.”

“The suit against me is entirely a frivolous one, which attempts to deny my First Amendment right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” he said.

Kaufman’s case is one of many in which Muslims or Muslim groups in North America have taken legal action against speech.

As WND reported, a Muslim analyst for the New York City Police Department is suing the city for workplace harassment, alleging he was subject to a regular stream of “anti-Islamic” messages from an e-mail list run by former counter-terrorism adviser Bruce Tefft.

Columnist and author Mark Steyn has been called to appear before two Canadian Human Rights Commissions for allegedly subjecting Canadian Muslims “to hatred and contempt” in a Maclean’s magazine excerpt from his book “America Alone.”

The complaint was filed by the Canadian Islamic Congress, led by Mohamed Elmasry, who has said all adult Jews in Israel are legitimate terrorist targets.