A Muslim organization is targeting seven Michigan residents who opposed plans for a major Islamic construction project in their neighborhood, and a legal team defending them alleges that the goal is to intimidate the project opponents and send a message to others.
The American Freedom Law Center is representing the opponents, whose names were withheld to protect their privacy.
A variety of subpoenas for information, including private emails and other documents, had been delivered by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Robert Muise, AFLC senior counsel, said, “There is no doubt that CAIR – a Shariah-adherent Islamist group that notoriously uses the legal system to silence any opposition to its nefarious agenda – is abusing the discovery process to retaliate against and intimidate private citizens who dared to publicly express their opposition to the Islamic center.”
Muise said AFLC “is quite familiar with CAIR’s bullying tactics, which is why it is important that we defend these private citizens’ constitutional rights.”
CAIR touts itself as a Muslim civil rights group, but federal prosecutors in 2007 named the Washington, D.C.-based group an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot to fund the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, and more than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.
The case was prompted by a plan by the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor in 2012 to build an Islamic school and community center.
It needed the town to rezone the property. But the request was denied because of infrastructure and traffic concerns.
CAIR filed a federal civil rights action against the township on behalf of MCA, claiming the denial of the rezoning application violated the Muslims’ rights.
AFLC explained that the township residents were concerned about the traffic congestion that would be caused by the construction of a school and community center in their neighborhood. They circulated and submitted to township officials a petition expressing their opposition to the rezoning, and several of them spoke out at public hearings.
“As a result, CAIR served harassing subpoenas on a number of these citizens, demanding that they produce private emails and other documents, and in some cases, appear for a deposition,” AFLC said.
Fight back against CAIR’s attack on First Amendment by making a contribution to WND’s “Legal Defense Fund.” Donations of $25 or more entitle you to free copy of “Muslim Mafia” – the book so devastating to CAIR the group is trying to ban it.
David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder, said CAIR’s discovery demands “plainly infringe upon precious First Amendment liberties and the paramount right of a private citizen to publicly express her opinions to elected representatives on matters that affect her and her community.”
“On a broader level, CAIR’s decision to browbeat these ordinary Americans clearly shows the pervasiveness of Shariah-adherent Islam and its ‘civilizational jihad’ within our borders,” he said.
“Needless to say, if CAIR wishes to persecute Americans through the legal system, they’ll have to contend with us.”
FBI wiretap evidence from the Hamas-funding case showed CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad was at an October 1993 meeting of Hamas leaders and activists in Philadelphia. CAIR, according to the evidence, was born out of a need to give a “media twinkle” to the Muslim leaders’ agenda of supporting violent jihad abroad while slowly institutionalizing Islamic law in the U.S.
As WND reported in 2010, a federal judge later determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to designate CAIR as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator, affirming the Muslim group has been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.”