By WILLIAM MAYER
April 27, 2017 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - [This is a reprint of an article we published May 21, 2012. The Allegan confrontation is only one of a new breed of efforts by the American left to totally destroy the First Amendment, we are currently working on a piece dealing with the same issue and it should appear on these pages next week, so this piece can be considered contextual in nature]
There is afoot a new and important political movement which seeks to ensure the integrity of the U.S. judicial process. The effort, entitled "American Laws for American Courts" seeks to ban Shari'a [Islamic law], and other foreign legal systems and concepts from having any impact on American jurisprudence.
One of the groups which is active in hastening this process, "The American Public Policy Alliance (APPA)" describes itself as, "a non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting U.S. constitutional rights, safeguarding U.S. sovereignty and promoting government transparency and accountability, is working with legislators nationwide on policies and initiatives." [source, http://publicpolicyalliance.org/?page_id=38]
One might think that the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, Sec 2, known as "The Supremacy Clause" would clearly be sufficient in and of itself in guaranteeing the integrity of the American legal system. Unfortunately that is not the case, as in numerous instances and settings these same foreign sources are already being used in the process of rendering judicial opinions.
The relevant Constitutional language is specific:
"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."
Pursuant this movement on January 26, 2012 an event entitled "Constituting Michigan - Founding Principles Act," was held at Allegan High School which is located in Michigan. The event - paradoxically centered on the freedom of expression - featured numerous speakers including a Michigan State Representative, David Agema and a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, Kamal Saleem.
Mr. Saleem's presence at the affair was of great relevance. Born in Lebanon, as a youth he was disingenuously befriended [offered "protection"], then recruited and radicalized by members of the Muslim Brotherhood [creator of HAMAS]. He was then inculcated into the dark world of terrorism. Other youths were commoditized in a similar manner, callously used as "mules" to carry military hardware in furtherance of jihad, Islamic Holy War. Indicative of the level of barbarism which is the centerpiece of Islamism, Mr. Saleem ran his first operation at the age of only 7, by 15 his bomb making skills were so well honed that he was loosed on the outside world to ply his ugly trade, a path which eventually led him to the United States, where he was expected to actively promote Islamic jihad.
The Allegan High free speech event was well attended, with a healthy crowd of approximately 200. Unbeknownst to all but a few, this gathering had come to the attention of a number of organizations and individuals including, but not limited to, the local chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, chaired by Dawud Walid as well as the inappropriately titled, People for the American Way, a hard-left activist group which in practice seems to loathe rather than treasuring and working to preserve the "American way."
These groups along with others, incredibly including the Allegan Police Department - led by its Chief of Police Rick Hoyer - and local public school officials, embarked upon a plan of action which resulted in the free speech event being terminated by the aforementioned police department. These actors including, the body charged with serving as custodians of law and order, thereby abridged the attendees First Amendment rights, an extraordinarily serious matter regardless of one's political affiliation.
By way of reference, the history of CAIR is not a pretty one. While claiming to be the largest Muslim civil rights advocacy organization in the United States, they have instead acted as a fifth column for Hamas, designated by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization [source, State Dept. FTOs].
The group was named as an unindicted co-conspirator [along with many similar organizations and individuals] in U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development [HLF], the largest and most successful prosecution of domestic funding for HAMAS, eventually channeling at least 12 million dollars to it [view the prosecution document here].
U.S. v. Holy Land was a seminal case for a number of reasons, among which was the establishment of the fact that CAIR worked closely with Hamas.
As we have previously written [for example see our October 4, 2011 piece, CAIR Makes Common Cause With Occupy Wall Street Marxists], in post HLF prosecution court proceedings, Federal Dist. Judge Jorge Solis, upon viewing the large corpus of evidence, specifically linked CAIR to the terrorist entity, HAMAS. In a July 1, 2009 ruling he declared that, "The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, NAIT, with NAIT, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas," [source, The Investigative Project, Federal Dist. Court filing, http://www.investigativeproject.org/2340/federal-judge-agrees-cair-tied-to-hamas].
Because the illegal shutdown of this event and the consequent breach of citizens' rights was viewed as an alarming development, the Thomas More Law Center, a public interest pro-bono legal group, filed a legal complaint against these actions naming as defendants the, CITY OF ALLEGAN; ROB HILLIARD, City Manager, City of Allegan; RICK HOYER, Chief of Police, City of Allegan; SGT. RON BOYSEN, Police Officer, City of Allegan; OFFICER JOSH MORGAN, Police Officer, City of Allegan; OFFICER MEL BRUMMEL, Police Officer, City of Allegan; ALLEGAN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT; KEVIN HARNESS, individually and in his official capacity as a superintendent in the Allegan Public School District; JIM MALLARD, individually and in his official capacity as a principal in the Allegan Public School District; COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS ("CAIR"); DAWUD WALID, CAIR-MI Executive Director; PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY; MICHAEL B. KEEGAN, President of People For the American Way, [view .pdf version of Complaint, Thomas More Law Center
On May 18 this writer conducted an interview with one of the lead attorneys in this matter, Ms. Erin Mersino Esq. What follows is a transcript of that conversation.
Q. Could you please sketch for us simply what happened the day this event took place?
A. "The day of January 26 the event began and [Michigan] State Representative [Dave] Agema took the stage and talked about American Laws for American Courts [link, http://publicpolicyalliance.org/?page_id=38] which is a current topic of debate in the Michigan legislature...after he finished then Kamal Saleem the [next] designated speaker at the event..took the stage and halfway through his speech was stopped by the police. The police in the interim had not truly been policing the event, they had been in a separate room discussing matters with officials of the school district. Two days prior to the event the school district received a letter from CAIR and People for the American Way...in the letter CAIR specifically addresses the fact that they knew that Kamal Saleem was scheduled to speak at the school so therefore there had been an agreement between the school and the event coordinator to hold the event and have Kamal Saleem speak. Then, knowing that this agreement had been reached, they asked the school to silence Kamal Saleem and they made various allegations calling him, Kamal Saleem, a charlatan amongst other things and we know then that school officials complained to the Chief of Police during those two days and [that] there was a meeting with the Chief of Police and the school officials in deciding to cancel the event and make it illegal.
Q. In the letter did CAIR allege that anything would result from the speech that would be a possible threat to public order, or anything that might suggest that violence might occur as a consequence of this event?
Q. So it was just a diatribe against Mr. Saleem?
A. That's correct.
Q. How did the event cease, how many police officers approximately came in, what was their attitude and what was the nature of the announcement that they made?
A. The police actually ordered the people who were holding the event to stop it and it was announced that the event would go to a second location. Now the police are saying that there was word of this five year old rumor that there's a bounty on Kamal Saleem's head. The Chief of Police [Rick Hoyer] has come forward...stating that there was actually no specific threat for this event whatsoever.
They're saying now that the entire event was shut down because of this rumor that is five years old and has not been substantiated...after word got out, the police conducted some investigation...and the witnesses all refuted [the allegation].
Q. Has Kamal Saleem been named as a party in any lawsuit regarding terrorism, named as an external terror operator on any of the State Department's lists or anything of that nature?
A. To my knowledge I don't believe so, but I'm not privy to all that information. He is not a plaintiff in the case.
Q. How many people approximately were at the event?
A. I have heard that there were about 200
Q. So was there any substantiation for the allegation?
A. This is very serious, because in the information that we have gotten through our Freedom of Information requests, they state that an unidentified female told one of the officers that there was this $25 million dollar bounty on Kamal Saleem's head.
Q. A $25 million dollar bounty issued by whom?
A. By radical Islamic terrorists.
Q. So in their iteration Mr. Saleem is being persecuted, he's got a price on his head and there's no allegation of any terrorist activity on his part...Geert Wilders [the Dutch MP] speaks frequently in the United States and there have been fatwas [Islamic judicial judgments] issued against him by radical imams in Holland, so that seems like a crazy reason to even put forth.
A. Yes, the law is very clear that we don't punish the person who is being persecuted in this case, we punish the person who is conducting the unlawful activity. Kamal, who is doing everything lawful should not be silenced. The people who have put a bounty on someone's head, if they exist, are then the people who should be policed, investigated and then arrested, not the person who is doing everything correctly.
Q. Regarding the unidentified female, how was the information passed on to whoever received it?
A. One of the officers then told another officer that he'd spoken to this unidentified female. From the police reports there's no further conversation with this woman [and] from the witnesses we don't know of anyone who would even have spoken to the police officer about this. So we don't know if there was a person...or what's going on with this. But we do know that from the follow-up investigation, this can't be verified. This is a five year old rumor, Kamal Saleem has spoken several times in the five years since this rumor came about with absolutely no problems. He has never had any incidence of violence at any of his speaking engagements...in fact he had been speaking in areas surrounding Allegan..and spoken numerous times since...and again, zero incidents of violence or any issues at any of his speaking engagements.
Q. Is it not highly unusual that the officer wouldn't try to identify the party making the allegation regarding the bounty and that in a trial situation such evidence would never be admissible, because at best it's hearsay?
A. In fact according to the Sixth Amendment every defendant has the right to confront witnesses. So how could you confront a witness that could never be produced?
Q. How many officers were there at the event?
A. I think that there were five, I'm not exactly positive that's a hard number...there were around 4 or 5...no officers were ever called for backup, no other departments were called to address any danger.
Q. Was the process of terminating the event orderly, or was it, "we're breaking the place up?"
A. No, there weren't any additional officers from the Allegan police department called to the event. It was very orderly. There wasn't anything that happened at the event that would need the [police] service...The only disturbance was the police breaking up the event....people from the crowd immediately asked, "what about our First Amendment rights? What about our freedom to associate with whomever we want to. What about our freedom of speech?"
Q. That seems especially incongruous given that this was part of the American Law for American Court effort which basically stresses enforcement of the Constitution and that American laws are the only laws that should be considered when making any legal ruling; not foreign law or especially a foreign religious law such as Shari'a. How far into the event did this go before the police stopped it?
A. From what I was told approximately ten minutes into the speech.
Q. This is a judgment call but it was obvious that there was no violence, nothing to indicate that there was any sort of a public danger or threat here?
A. None...there was not a person in the crowd who looked suspicious, there was not anything except that after the fact, the police said there was this rumor that we found out about [pauses] a five year old rumor.
Q. Is there anything else in this case that might be relevant, that we can discuss in the time remaining that I've omitted?
A. Certainly that the shutting down of the event was [carried out under] a pretext...[which was] the bounty on the speaker's head because the event was going peacefully without any sort of issue. The only issue was actually the shutting down the event. Another interesting thing, the Chief of Police met with one of the plaintiffs...ten days before the event was to take place. They sat down and discussed who would be speaking, the certain precautions that they would want to ensure that everyone was safe, and [the plaintiff] specifically said that 'Kamal Saleem is speaking, you will want to Google his name to be familiar with him,' and at that time said that he had no issue for the event going on whatsoever and was going to allow it to take place, as they should...following the Constitution. It's interesting that 8 days passed and [only] then the school district received this letter from CAIR and the next day they called the Chief of Police with complaints and concerns about the event...with this heightened sensitivity...it was shut down. This really was about silencing Kamal Saleem...nothing is more important than protecting our rights pursuant to the First Amendment."
The ill-considered action of shutting down a lawfully gathered and entirely peaceable assembly by those named in the complaint strike at the heart of America's most sacred document, the U.S. Constitution, specifically the First Amendment, which is universally understood to be the fundamental guarantor of American liberty. We will be following this case closely as it works its way through the system of Federal Courts.
©2012 PipeLineNews.org LLC, William Mayer. All rights reserved. Beila Rabinowitz contributed to this article.