Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Lawfare Case Against Pamela Geller

I’ve been chained to my keyboard ever since Geert Wilders’ case returned to court on October 4. By the time the judges in the trial were dismissed — which is when I otherwise would have taken a brief rest — the court date for Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff had been set, and all my energies since then have remained focused on helping her.

Pamela GellerAs a result, I missed what happened to Pamela Geller. On October 13, Pamela found out that she was being sued for $10 million by a Muslim who didn’t like what she said about him. Many thanks to the reader who brought this to my attention.

As I said in my post the other day, Elisabeth isn’t the only one who will be targeted for what she says — all of us are at risk. Pamela Geller also needs and deserves our support.

Here are some excerpts from her post:

$10,000,000 Lawsuit Against Pamela Geller, Cites Free Speech

Lawfare Lawsuit Brought by Omar Tarazi — Litigation Jihad

In July of 2009, a young teenage girl ran away from her home in Ohio, after her father threatened to kill her upon discovering her conversion out of Islam. When she disappeared, many of her friends and those of us who had heard of her plight thought that she had met the worst of fates (as almost of these cases end the same horrible way). Imagine our joy when she emerged alive.

Who can forget? Rifqa Bary: “I want to be free”

What followed was a campaign of intimidation and persecution by Islamic supremacists, her parents and CAIR. Their objective was to shut her up and return her to the hellish home she fought so desperately to escape.

The Islamic supremacists lost. The lovers and defenders of freedom were victorious. But no good deed goes unpunished.

David Yerushalmi is representing me in the outrageous ten million dollar Islamic supremacist lawsuit brought by Omar Tarazi, lawyer for the parents of Rifqa Bary, whose father threatened to kill her after the Noor mosque ratted her out to her parents. Members of the Noor mosque had spied on her and found out that she had converted out of Islam. Scroll this link.

Tarazi has been a featured speaker at the Noor mosque that spied on Rifqa and publicly ridiculed her. The pressure on Rifqa Bary was intense, the fatwas calling for her death numerous.

The Barys had been working closely with Muslim Brotherhood front, Hamas-linked CAIR to return this poor tortured girl to her violent home. Atlas readers fought hard for Rifqa. We rallied, covered her trials to return her home, sent hundreds of Christmas cards in a holiday campaign (the lawyer Tarazi tried to have the cards seized and banned — unsuccessfully, I might add) and we contacted Florida and Ohio politicians and officials to keep Rifqa safe from her Islamic fundamentalist home and mosque.

Islamic supremacists sprung into action.


We won, but Islamic supremacists are not known for being terribly good sports. Here is the AP’s take on the lawsuit:

Blogger who backs runaway Christian convert cites First Amendment in defamation suit response via FOX 59 news

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A blogger championing the case of a Muslim-to-Christian convert from Ohio says allegedly defamatory comments she’s being sued over were protected free speech.

Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller also says many of the postings singled out in a federal lawsuit could fall into the realm of hyperbole and not defamation.

Geller says in a federal court filing Tuesday that she is a journalist writing about a matter of public interest and is protected by the First Amendment.

Go over to Pamela’s place for more text and photos. And there’s also a “Donate” button on her sidebar — use it to express your tangible support for her cause.


Zenster said...

Irrespective of Geller's personal methodology in her role as counter-jihadist, plaintiff attorney, Omar Tarazi, has made a very poor choice of targets.

While the obvious intent is to silence one of America's highest profile anti-Islamists, Geller's Atlas Shrugs web site is a destination for many in America who oppose shari'a law and its stealth insertion into this country's political landscape.

There is every possibility that this case will take on similar dimensions to that of Geert Wilders in The Netherlands. Should that be so, Tarazi will probably have cause to repent at liesure over what he has attacked in haste.

Every last typo, gaffe, distortion and character assassination is sure to come pouring forth into the public eye like falafel mix from a torn sack once Geller begins to splash this plaintiff's documents across the Internet.

Very much unlike the Wilders case, the court will likely be far less disposed towards judicial misconduct and there will be many more avenues of recourse available for resolution of any disputes. Additionally, the roster of potential witnesses will not experience anywhere near the sort of curtailment it did in Holland. All of this points towards a genuine three ring courtroom circus at Islam's expense.

Unless there is a gag order issued, the bulk of this will be very much in the open and woe betide Geller's foes as they are paraded in the actinic glare of public scrutiny.

Islam stands to lose a tremendous amount of sympathy as Americans gain a more direct understanding of how Muslims deal with apostasy. This is especially the case as Rifqa converted to Christianity. Had she chosen Judaism or the Sikh faith there is a much stronger likelihood that this might have slipped under radar.

With America a predominately Christian country, this case will be a genuine wakeup call for all and sundry as to just how serious of a threat Islam truly is. This may well be one of the first times that everyday Qur'anic doctrine will be exposed for the hate speech and intolerant rubbish that it is.

Towards that end, Pamela Geller deserves our strongest moral and financial support as she moves forwards with her defense in this important case.

EscapeVelocity said...

Is there a reputable clearing house organization, in which to donate for Lawfare defense of Anti Islamization, Anti Jihadi speech and activity?

sheik yer'mami said...

Holland’s Corrupt Supreme Court Judges Fear Geert Wilders, Blame Wilders for “Undermining the Judiciary”

Zenster said...

sheik yer'mami: Holland’s Corrupt Supreme Court Judges Fear Geert Wilders, Blame Wilders for “Undermining the Judiciary”

Clearly the Dutch judges have taken a page from the playbook of their pet Muslims and are now blaming the victim.

What could be "Undermining the Judiciary" any better than disgracing the bench, demonstrating abject partiality and delegitimizing Rule of Law?

Henrik R Clausen said...

Is there a reputable clearing house organization, in which to donate for Lawfare defense of Anti Islamization, Anti Jihadi speech and activity?

I don't know of one, and I would not encourage the idea anyway. Such an org would be a primary target for all kinds of fraud, infiltration and legal assaults, and it would be a disaster if it failed for any such reasons.

There are problems enough, though. Pamela Geller had her PayPal blocked due to "Hate speech" claims, and the alternative GPal, used by both Spencer and Geller, turned out to not work at all, and to lock up the funds indefinitely.

For the moment, I believe it is better that we vet each activity separately, use ordinary methods of payment and donate directly to those causes which we know best and have most confidence in. Not quite as easy, but safer.

Lynn said...

I live in OH and sent a card to Rifqa. I will stand behind Geller and her Freedom of Speech. I do, however, feel very sorry for Mr. Tarazi, he doesn't stand a chance.
LOL :)

. said...

The law of libel, defamation, and slander, when the plaintiff is not a public figure:

Generally speaking, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm. Slander involves the making of defamatory statements by a transitory (non-fixed) representation, usually an oral (spoken) representation. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as a magazine or newspaper.

Typically, the elements of a cause of action for defamation include:

A false and defamatory statement concerning another;
The unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party (that is, somebody other than the person defamed by the statement);
If the defamatory matter is of public concern, fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher; and
Damage to the plaintiff.
In the context of defamation law, a statement is "published" when it is made to the third party. That term does not mean that the statement has to be in print.

Damages are typically to the reputation of the plaintiff, but depending upon the laws of the jurisdiction it may be enough to establish mental anguish.

The standard is much higher if the plaintiff is a "public figure," such as a politician, movie star, etc.

Under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1964 Case, New York Times v Sullivan, where a public figure attempts to bring an action for defamation, the public figure must prove an additional element: That the statement was made with "actual malice". In translation, that means that the person making the statement knew the statement to be false, or issued the statement with reckless disregard as to its truth.

I don't think Rifqa Bary's father qualifies as a "public figure."

Pamela Geller's defenses:

The most important defense to an action for defamation is "truth", which is an absolute defense to an action for defamation.

A defense recognized in most jurisdictions is "opinion". If the person makes a statement of opinion as opposed to fact, the statement may not support a cause of action for defamation. Whether a statement is viewed as an expression of fact or opinion can depend upon context - that is, whether or not the person making the statement would be perceived by the community as being in a position to know whether or not it is true. If your employer calls you a pathological liar, it is far less likely to be regarded as opinion than if such a statement is made by somebody you just met. Some jurisdictions have eliminated the distinction between fact and opinion, and instead hold that any statement that suggests a factual basis can support a cause of action for defamation.

A defense similar to opinion is "fair comment on a matter of public interest". If the mayor of a town is involved in a corruption scandal, expressing the opinion that you believe the allegations are true is not likely to support a cause of action for defamation.

A defendant may also attempt to illustrate that the plaintiff had a poor reputation in the community, in order to diminish any claim for damages resulting from the defamatory statements.