Calling Mr. Spencer "a well-known purveyor of hatred and bigotry against Muslims" with a "history of false and defamatory statements," an attorney for CAIR on Wednesday wrote a letter (click here to see the letter in PDF format) to"demand that YAF cancel the subject session, or else take steps to ensure that false and defamatory statements are not disseminated at that session."
The letter is a true piece of work. Nothing specific, just glittering generalities designed to stifle free speech by attempting to intimidate not the speaker, but the organization holding the event.
Note the personal smears, the attempt to bully and intimidate, and the non-specificity of the charges against me (they can't be specific, because I don't say anything inaccurate about them — or about Islam or jihad).
In the letter CAIR claims to be "Americas largest Muslim civil rights group". But as I recall, CAIR's membership has taken a nose dive recently (29,000 in 2000 to fewer than 1,700 in 2006). So we have an organization of 1,700 claiming to speak for all Muslims in America and also claiming to be a "civil rights organization" trying to shut down free speech?
Yeah, that works. And in reality all they've really done is raise the visibility of a speech that no one, outside of the 400 attendees at the YAF convention, would have heard otherwise. Spencer ought to send them a thank you.
Who know, if this gets enough visibility, maybe even those 1,700 holdouts will abandon ship as it certainly appears CAIR is bound and determined to run the organization aground on the shoals of stupidity. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of apologists.
I think that a pattern is developing. Stanley Kurtz, yesterday at the Corner (go there for several internal links):
Pulp Non-Fiction [Stanley Kurtz]
Here’s a story with huge implications for freedom of speech (all negative), and it’s apparently gone almost entirely unreported in the mainstream press. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required), under threat of a law suit, Cambridge University Press has just agreed to pulp all unsold copies of the 2006 book, Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World. According to the Chronicle, this is the fourth such book on terrorism funding to be pursued by a libel action. The Chronicle quotes Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center for Democracy, whose own book, Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed–and How to Stop It is one of the four books.
In an interview on Monday, Ms. Ehrenfeld characterized as "despicable" Cambridge’s decision to settle this week, a move the press has defended as necessary and just. Ms. Ehrenfeld, who is a friend of Mr. Burr’s [one of the authors of Alms for Jihad], said that, as she understands it, press officials "caved immediately."
"They didn’t even consider the evidence that the authors had given them," she said. "They received a threatening letter, and they immediately caved in and said, Do whatever it takes. Pay them whatever they want. Ban the book, destroy the book, we don’t want this lawsuit."
In a blog post entitled, "Attention Authors: Be afraid, very afraid....especially if you write about the Saudis and their support of terrorism," Emory University professor, Deborah Lipstadt elaborates. In addition to the links within Lipstadt’s post, you can find related stories at the website of Ehrenfeld’s American Center for Democracy. Given MSM’s silence, this looks like one for the blogosphere.
”CAIR claims to be "Americas largest Muslim civil rights group".”
The more I hear about this organization, the more I wonder why liberal idiots (ala Ward Churchill ,supporters) are not all over them with supporting demonstrations, fund drives, etc. and petitions like this:
”The campaign to remove Churchill is an open call to persecute anyone who makes statements that some might consider anti-American, or who think thoughts deemed anti-American. The media-driven frenzy to purge Churchill possesses all the hallmarks of a new McCarthyism, and represents a dangerous trend of intellectual intolerance across the nation and in the academy. The moment is a reminder that many of our natural rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the United States are today in jeopardy under such onerous laws as the USA PATRIOT Act. “
Apparently CAIR overlooked getting included in the LN somehow. Otherwise they seem a perfect draw for stupid urban liberals.