Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Lesson on Free Speech and Sharia in Knoxville

A recent legal victory by Freedom X upheld the right of private citizens to discuss openly sharia law at a Knoxville, Tennessee, high school. "This is a victory for free speech," Freedom X's President William J. Becker rightly explained, in yet another instructive example of Islamists seeking to subvert the United States Constitution's First Amendment.

A local Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America began the case by arranging an April 24 evening town hall at Farragut High School (FHS). The event featured Dr. Bill French, Center for the Study of Political Islam founder under the pen name Warner, and Matt Bonner, regional director of the Crescent Project, a Christian evangelization ministry for Muslims. They intended to address the encroachment in America of sharia, vaguely described in one online report as "Islamic laws governing worship and lifestyle." Becker correctly clarifies that "Sharia is incompatible with our constitutional and legal protections" in numerous ways.

Both local and national Muslims groups, however, greeted the event with harsh opposition. Abdel Rahman Murphy, a Muslim chaplain at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, emailed then FHS principal Mike F. Reynolds on April 8 requesting the event's cancellation. The town hall flyer had "kind of an aggressive tone," Murphy argued to reporters. "Feel free hosting" the event "anywhere else by renting out a banquet hall," Murphy added, "but to host it at a public not comfortable for the rest of us."

A Knoxville school official was "happy to announce" ACT!'s uninviting. Hooper boasted of the school's decision, arguing that "this event in a public school would send an implicit message of endorsement for the bigoted views of the speakers." Knoxville schools must "remain a safe place for all students," concurred Remziya Suleyman from the Tennessee-based Muslim organization, American Center for Outreach.

The Knoxville ACT! chapter's president John Peach held the event in a church, not seeking other public venues for fear of another cancellation. "Sharia is not well-understood and we wanted to inform the public" as "concerned Americans," Peach said. An "American...should" not "be afraid to speak out on public matters in a public forum."

On August 4th, Peach and French with Becker as counsel sued the school district for violating his First Amendment constitutionally protected rights. "It is unfortunate we have to educate the educators," Becker stated in filing the lawsuit to coincide with the school year opening, but the First Amendment's "freedom of speech...distinguishes America from Muslim nations."

"CAIR and other terror-affiliated groups are exploiting our laws," Becker analyzed, "to erode...freedom of speech...part and parcel of a greater plan" for an "Islamic caliphate." " Muslim activists play the victim card," this trend will grow, even though blasphemy laws are unconstitutional.

Because "litigation would have been futile," Becker rejoiced, the school's attorneys settled just 21 days after his filing.



Anonymous said...

Some very wise person said "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".

Anonymous said...

Islam demonstrates that respect for religious views undermines (and is used to undermine) the freedom of expression for anyone who disagrees with those particular religious views.

In effect, 'Freedom of Religion' pits itself against 'Freedom of Expression'.

Bird of Paradise said...

Take that CAIR

Anonymous said...

By the school settling it sweeps it under the carpet and away from the public eye. What they need to do is schedule another event at the same school and challenge CAIR to put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

The ironic part is the by screaming bloody murder and wanting to have the speech canceled the muslims proved Becker's point better then any speaker ever could!