Back on the Bus

From Gates of Vienna by way of IFPS

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back on the Bus

by Baron Bodissey

Remember CAIR’s successful effort last week to force the removal of “Islamophobic” ads from Miami municipal buses? Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, working through the Freedom Defense Initiative, placed the ads on the buses to inform Muslims (and any other Americans) that they have the right of religious freedom in this country. The ads included a URL for a Muslim apostates’ site.

It looked like CAIR had chalked up another victory, intimidating anyone who attempts to criticize Islam in public. But David Yerushalmi has turned the tables: his law firm, working with the Thomas More Law Center, forced Miami-Dade County to back down and reinstate the ads.

This is a significant victory for sharia opponents over the most prominent Muslim Brotherhood front group in the United States — which, incidentally, was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial. As David Yerushalmi says, “CAIR is a criminal organization with ties to Hamas and other jihadists. This is not my opinion but the considered view of the U.S. Attorney’s office, the FBI, and the federal courts, all based on evidence CAIR has never refuted.”

According to his law firm’s website:

Law Offices of David Yerushalmi, P.C. Win Victory for the First Amendment

Case Demonstrates that CAIR is a Fraudulent Civil Rights Organization Lobbying on behalf of the OIC

April 21, 2010—Miami, Florida: When the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) pressured the Miami-Dade Country Transit Authority to yank bus panel ads contracted and paid for by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer of the Freedom Defense Initiative because the ads were “offensive to Muslims”, the two activists turned to the Law Offices of David Yerushalmi, P.C. for help. Mr. Yerushalmi joined forces with the Thomas More Law Center and the two law firms began preparing a federal complaint alleging breach of contract and violation of Ms. Geller’s and Mr. Spencer’s First Amendment Rights.

The bus ad, which appears above, began running on Tuesday, April 13th. Just two days later, on Thursday, after pressure from CAIR, the bus ads had already been pulled down and Mr. Yerushalmi’s clients received notice of the ad contract termination through media reports on Friday.

CAIR, as it typically does, issued nationwide press releases and blasted emails to tens of thousands of outlets on Friday crowing over its “victory” of suppressing free speech on the grounds that the ads promoted “bigotry”. Newspaper and other media stories in the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, Fox Business News, and NBC ran blindly with the CAIR-generated story on Friday with headlines like: “Miami-Dade Transit Throws Islamic Ad Under the Bus.”

Ironically, CAIR, which has been named by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI as a Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group and unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror fund raising trial—a trial which culminated in guilty verdicts for all of the Muslim Brotherhood defendants—claims it is “the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization.”

“It is ironic,” Mr. Yerushalmi noted, “that the media allows CAIR to claim the mantle of a civil rights organization when it embraces censorship by the government all in the service of the ‘anti-blasphemy’ platform of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), which calls for international legislation providing for criminal penalties against anyone who ‘insults Islam and its prophet Mohammed.’ Free speech is apparently not one of the freedoms in CAIR’s version of the U.S. Constitution—at least not for critics of Islam.”

Mr. Yerushalmi added that the Center for Security Policy, a leading Washington D.C. national security think tank run by former Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney, has documented that CAIR is an illegal, unregistered foreign agent of the OIC, receiving millions of dollars from Islamic countries in order to pursue their political goals in the U.S. (See the CAIR Observatory) Mr. Yerushalmi is General Counsel to the Center for Security Policy.

By Friday, the day after the bus ads had been pulled, Mr. Yerushalmi and his co-counsel Robert Muise were prepared to go into federal court early the next week armed with a complaint and motion for temporary restraining order.

A teleconference was arranged first with the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s office, which took place Monday afternoon. After listening to Mr. Yerushalmi’s brief, the county attorneys conceded the ads should not have been pulled. By Tuesday, Mr. Yerushalmi had negotiated a full and complete retraction of the contract termination with a NY-based attorney for CBS Outdoor. Not only would the original 10 king-sized ads go back up on the Transit Authority buses, but CBS would run an additional 20 king-sized bus ads for no additional charge.

The new agreement was inked and signed by Wednesday, April 21. The ads are expected to go back up by early next week.

“This is not just an important day for the First Amendment. It is a ‘teaching moment’ for the media and for others in various government agencies who come across CAIR,” Mr. Yerushalmi added. “CAIR is a criminal organization with ties to Hamas and other jihadists. This is not my opinion but the considered view of the U.S. Attorney’s office, the FBI, and the federal courts, all based on evidence CAIR has never refuted. If you find yourself on the same side of an issue with CAIR, you’d better examine the facts a bit more closely. You’re likely in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood, even if only unwittingly.”

Mr. Yerushalmi is currently prosecuting two separate fraud cases against CAIR on behalf of five former CAIR clients, three of whom are Muslim Americans, who were defrauded by CAIR.

“It is ironic,” Mr. Yerushalmi noted, “that the media allows CAIR to claim the mantle of a civil rights organization when it embraces censorship by the government all in the service of the ‘anti-blasphemy’ platform of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), which calls for international legislation providing for criminal penalties against anyone who ‘insults Islam and its prophet Mohammed.’ Free speech is apparently not one of the freedoms in CAIR’s version of the U.S. Constitution—at least not for critics of Islam.”

Mr. Yerushalmi added that the Center for Security Policy, a leading Washington D.C. national security think tank run by former Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney, has documented that CAIR is an illegal, unregistered foreign agent of the OIC, receiving millions of dollars from Islamic countries in order to pursue their political goals in the U.S. (See the CAIR Observatory) Mr. Yerushalmi is General Counsel to the Center for Security Policy.

By Friday, the day after the bus ads had been pulled, Mr. Yerushalmi and his co-counsel Robert Muise were prepared to go into federal court early the next week armed with a complaint and motion for temporary restraining order.

A teleconference was arranged first with the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s office, which took place Monday afternoon. After listening to Mr. Yerushalmi’s brief, the county attorneys conceded the ads should not have been pulled. By Tuesday, Mr. Yerushalmi had negotiated a full and complete retraction of the contract termination with a NY-based attorney for CBS Outdoor. Not only would the original 10 king-sized ads go back up on the Transit Authority buses, but CBS would run an additional 20 king-sized bus ads for no additional charge.

The new agreement was inked and signed by Wednesday, April 21. The ads are expected to go back up by early next week.

“This is not just an important day for the First Amendment. It is a ‘teaching moment’ for the media and for others in various government agencies who come across CAIR,” Mr. Yerushalmi added. “CAIR is a criminal organization with ties to Hamas and other jihadists. This is not my opinion but the considered view of the U.S. Attorney’s office, the FBI, and the federal courts, all based on evidence CAIR has never refuted. If you find yourself on the same side of an issue with CAIR, you’d better examine the facts a bit more closely. You’re likely in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood, even if only unwittingly.”

Mr. Yerushalmi is currently prosecuting two separate fraud cases against CAIR on behalf of five former CAIR clients, three of whom are Muslim Americans, who were defrauded by CAIR.

(IFPS Editors note)

More information from Pamela Geller’s site here, and Robert Spencer’s site here. Make no mistake, this is a real victory and an important one. We all owe a debt of gratitude to these two and to David Yerushalmi for making this happen, not to mention the various people at the actual organizations such as Former Muslims United

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

27 Replies to “Back on the Bus”

  1. Reading this reminds me of my old room mate. That guy was one of the smartest men I know, but he was a little outlandish for my tastes though. Anyways I enjoyed reading this, thanks. Will give me something to talk about when I see him.

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