I returned late last night from the two-day International Legal Conference on Freedom of Speech and Religion, which was held in the Congressional Auditorium at the Capitol in Washington D.C. This was a well-organized and substantive event, with some of the best minds in the Counterjihad represented on the stage and in the audience.
In the next day or so, when I have more time, I will post details about some of the panel discussions and speeches. In the meantime, these are some of the people I met and talked to:
I renewed my acquaintance with Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, and spent some time with Lars Hedegaard, the president of the International Free Press Society. Sam Solomon, whom I have met on a number of pervious occasions, was on hand to lend his expertise on Islam, the Koran, and sharia law.
Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Andy Bostom attended the first day of the conference and gave an excellent special presentation on the Rifqa Bary case.
Diana West was on several of the panels and gave a speech outlining the infamous behavior of Yale University concerning the publication of the Motoon book and the subsequent treatment of Kurt Westergaard when he visited the campus a few weeks ago.
I also had the pleasure of meeting a number of people for the first time, notably Ann Fishman and her husband, who worked their fingers to the bone organizing the conference.
A large group of Canadians made the long trip down to the D.C. tropics. One of them was Kathy Shaidle, who is also known as Five Feet of Fury, but to me seemed more like five feet of Torontonian charm and intelligence.
- - - - - - - - -
I also had some interesting conversations with David Harris, a Canadian lawyer and Director of the International and Terrorist Intelligence Program for INSIGNIS Strategic Research, Inc. In addition, I met for the first time James Cohen of the Canadian chapter of IFPS, and Fred of Gay and Right.
The European contingent was not as large, but significantly included the eloquent Lord Pearson of Rannoch. He is the leader of UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party), as well the man who recently brought Geert Wilders to Britain. Besides Lars Hedegaard, Denmark was represented by Morten Messerschmidt, a member of the European Parliament for the Danish People’s Party. His speech about the dire condition of free speech in Europe was as cogent and comprehensive a summary as any I’ve ever heard.
Most of the speakers and attendees were Americans, and I had a change to talk with a number of them. I particularly appreciated my conversations with Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center, and David Yerushalmi, the incisive D.C. lawyer who specializes in securities law, national security, and international law. I also spoke briefly with radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman, who is leading the charge in South Florida against President Obama and the RINOs in Congress.
The content of the conference itself will come later, when I have time to do it justice. In the meantime, I have to spend some time catching up with the usual gazillion emails that arrived while I was gone.