American Thinker has my latest piece on the battle for free speech playing out in a Detroit courtroom:
Read the whole thing here:
Fighting for Free Speech in Detroit Pamela Geller, American Thinker
When I tried to put ads on Detroit buses offering help to Muslims threatened by their families or communities for leaving Islam (e.g., Rifqa Bary), Detroit's SMART transportation authority banned the ads. This wasn't surprising in view of the large Muslim population in the Detroit area, but it was a key free speech issue: Is it still legal in America to say something Muslims don't like and reach out to Muslims endangered by Islam's death penalty for apostasy? Isn't this country based on individual rights and equal protection for all?So my organization, FDI, filed suit. Was free speech still free? I went to Detroit on Tuesday to make the case -- and to testify in my lawsuit against Detroit for infringing on my freedom of speech. It was another day at the circus in the upside-down world of the left; the only difference is that the real circus is far more entertaining, and the animals are far more intelligent.My hearing in Detroit was entertaining on a buffoonish level. The SMART legal team twisted itself into Gordian knots, doing everything it could to avoid the free speech issues involved. I half-expected Avery Gordon, lead attorney for SMART, to deliver his closing in the shape of a human pretzel. Gordon was quite taken with himself and his lawyerly acrobatics. Though few shared his enthusiasm, he strutted like a rooster and danced like a lummox. His arguments resembled the first really popular computer game, "pong," bouncing all over the map.First, Gordon contended that SMART denied my ads because they were "political speech." He made this the centerpiece of his case. He denied that the ads were religious in nature. Are these ads political?But under cross-examination, Beth Gibbons, a witness for SMART, admitted on the witness stand that the ads were not denied based on content. End game. Badabing, badaboom.Gibbons went on to say that the ads were refused because of the "controversy" over them when they ran in Miami. She said that she had seen an opinion piece against the ads written by the Miami Herald's Jaweed Kaleem, a shill for the unindicted co-conspirator, Hamas-linked Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Where did she see this piece? Get this: in the Department of Transit newsletter (online).But the money quote from Gibbons was that the ad was rejected not because of its content. And Gordian-knot Gordon kept repeating that the viewpoint of the SMART authorities had nothing to do with the decision. So if it wasn't rejected for content, and none of their views, biases, and prejudices came into play, then why was it rejected?