One of the pillars of Western Civilization is our Common Law. Unfortunately, Radical Islam is exploiting this great strength of our culture in a guerilla warfare campaign to undermine our way of life. They are using the courts’ system to silence their critics with an avalanche of lawsuits. The goal is not to necessarily win the case but to cow and intimidate anyone who may speak out against their extreme agenda.
The most glaring example of this is in Britain where “Libel Tourism” has become a cottage industry. Due to the quirk in British law, libel cases that would be tossed out by any American court, are not only filed, they are often won. It is so bad in the UK that flamboyant entertainer Liberace once sued a London tabloid for “implying” he “might” be homosexual and won! A few years later, Liberace was involved in a messy “palimony” suit when he split with his longtime, live-in boy friend.
The bigger problem with the British system is a claim can be filed even if none of the parties resides in Great Britain. A perfect example is the case of Dr. Rachael Ehrenfeld, an expert on terrorism, who wrote a book titled, “Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It.” In the book she made heavily supported claims that Saudi billionaire Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz had helped finance global terrorism. Even though Dr. Ehrenfeld was an American and the book was published in the United States and not distributed to the UK, Mahfouz’s lawyers were able to convince a British court to hear the case because 23 copies of the book had been purchased online in England. Refusing to recognize the authority of a foreign court to infringe on her constitutionally protected rights as an American, Dr. Ehrenfeld, to her eternal credit, refused to defend herself against the claim. A default judgment was issued against her demanding money and an apology. Neither is forthcoming. Prompted by this case and several others, the State of New York recently passed the aptly named “Libel Terrorism Protection Act” which effectively makes any judgment by the British courts unenforceable in the state.
Khalid bin Mahfouz has used the English court system over 30 times to suppress and chill any journalist or author who looked too closely into any of the dark corners of his shady past. Recently the mere threat of legal action motivated Cambridge University Press to recall all copies of “Alms for Jihad”. In an eerie reminder of the days of Nazi book burnings, Cambridge took the added step of requesting libraries around the world destroy any copies they may have on their shelves.
Mahfouz has been so successful in using the British legal system to intimidate writers and publishers he even has a webpage where he gloats about his victories over the rights of free speech.
The big question that remains unanswered is why has the U.S. Congress and the President failed to pass legislation similar to New York's to shield our journalists, authors and scholars from potential financial ruin at the hands of a Saudi billionaire with alleged direct links to global terrorism? Isn’t it the first job of our elected officials to protect our citizens and defend the United States Constitution?
Our friends at Act! for America are conducting a letter writing campaign in support for the "Free Speech Protection Act." Please join in this worthy effort.