In recent decades, however, it has become popular to champion the underdog against what is painted as an oppressive majority. If one is merely maintaining the rights of the minority against infringement from a democratic majority, that is certainly commendable -- indeed, the very reason that the United States is a Republic, and not a Democracy, is to preserve the rights of minorities from a dictatorship of the majority.
However, no one should ever have counted on the drive to defend the rights of oppressed minorities ending on its own with equality; rather, a dictatorship of the special interests has long been evident gaining power behind a mask of justice.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and her legal defense against Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, Servant of Allah and Financier of Holy Terror.
It starts out simple enough. There is, within Islam, a call for violence: jihad, or Holy War, against non-Muslims. Many Muslims have interpreted that in a contemporary manner, describing an internal struggle for individual improvement, or something else non-threatening to those around them. Others, however, preach a very violent interpretation, one in which the barbarities and atrocities of times past are released upon today's society.
Factor in oppressive regimes in much of the world where Islam is predominant. In some cases, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, the oppression is directly rooted in Islam; in other cases, such as Uzbekistan, it is a secular oppression, and Islam is seen as the resistance to oppression.
Influenced by the example of violence all around them, and steeped in an ideology of conquer-a-paradise-on-earth-or-die-trying-and-go-to-heaven, people who feel they have nothing to lose buy into the idea of Holy War against their perceived oppressors, not realizing they are being manipulated by those in power -- in the case of the Islamic World, the clerics and mullahs at least, and certainly the royalty and oligarchs as well in Saudi Arabia.
Concerned about ramifications of the ideology that is spread by "friends" like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, people begin to notice and question certain passages in Islamic texts that call for violence against non-believers, and connect those passages to the incidents they see around them. There are those who go so far as to condemn all Muslims.
This is portrayed as oppression of a people because they are different. The term "racism" is negative, so, even though Islam is a religion and not a race, it is applied to those who wish to think for themselves in considering what they see in the Islamic World, and who then dare to view their own opinions. It is irrelevant whether such opinions are accurate or not; what condemns an opinion is its deviation from the viewpoint that the manipulators desire us to have. The fact that there are those who condemn all Muslims for the acts of a significant and noticeable group helps fuel the disinformation and manipulation.
Islam achieves a de facto protected status in the "enlightened" (=dhimmified) societies where it is not a majority religion; jihad becomes seen as a natural reaction to oppression of the majority.
What one misses is the manipulation that occurs behind the scenes.
While suicide bombing is for the oppressed masses, the benefits of jihad are for the elite. The instability, the confusion -- it all works to maintain and augment the power of the elite, usually (but not always) the elite of those nations who export jihad.
When connections are made between the violent acts and those who enable and manipulate it behind the scenes, the system is in danger of collapse. After all, it is a house of cards, and jihadis must be too intent on blowing themselves and infidels up, and infidels must be too intent on survival, to notice the more subtle pattern and question it.
Enter Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, who makes such connections and publicizes them: this is a problem.
So, the affluent and powerful manipulators move to crush those who expose the reality behind the image of oppression: Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, Financier of Holy Terror, files lawsuits against those authors who dare to connect him to the terrorist acts his wealth enables.
However, the heavy-handed way in which this is done serves more to call attention to the truth than it does to bury the truth. Sheikh bin Mahfouz has, with his wealthy onslaught of legal activity known as libel tourism, done more to publicize the truth about himself than any author could ever do on his or her own.
Sheikh bin Mahfouz's biggest problem is a lady who stands up for what is right, and refuses to back down in the face of the legal threat he poses. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld refuses to be a captive in big-money Islam's intellectual prison, precursor to Hell on Earth.
Courage is about recognizing the danger one is in, and doing what is necessary and right despite the fear that naturally results; Dr. Ehrenfeld is an example of courage, doing what is right to protect society, despite the threat of legal action she faces.
Ironically, it is the very affluence and power of people like Sheikh bin Mahfouz that guarantees their defeat: a comment to the article at Human Events:
The irony is that had Cambridge Univ Press not caved to Mahfouz we'd never have heard about this. Mahfouz' legal shenanigans have exposed him, these books and their incriminating evidence to a wider audience. Most defamation cases are self-defeating whether or not the allegations against the plaintiff are true. The defamation or truth gets repeated in court and then becomes a part of the continuing media coverage.
bozoer rebbe, Motown, USA, Aug 21, 2007 @ 11:39 AM
From Court: State law won't protect terror author from libel judgment, by MICHAEL GORMLEY, 6:51 PM EST, December 20, 2007 (I present only the first few paragraphs):
ALBANY, N.Y. - New York's highest court decided Thursday a state law can't help a Manhattan author block a libel verdict brought against her in London by a Saudi billionaire over her book "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed - and How to Stop It."
The unanimous decision interpreting a New York law now goes to a federal court. There, author Rachel Ehrenfeld has sought to combat what her attorney argued was a chilling effect on free speech by the billionaire, Khalid Salim A. Bin Mahfouz. The Saudi businessman has sued more than two dozen times over writings on terrorism and those who fund it, including Ehrenfeld's 2003 book.
"The chill continues," said Ehrenfeld's attorney, Daniel Kornstein of Manhattan.
Kornstein said the businessman hasn't tried to collect on his judgment, which includes an apology and a halt on book sales. But he said the London court verdict is a threat to authors.
"That's the danger and the risk and the problem that we tried to stress," Kornstein said. "It creates a sword of Damocles that prohibits authors and publishers - and readers can't read about it."
Sheikh bin Mahfouz seeks to silence people through legal maneuverings so they can't speak the truth about the fact that, while it is the poor who die, jihad is a game for the rich.
New York's Court of Appeals had been asked by a federal court if the state's "long-arm" law could apply to the case. But the state court found the law, which establishes jurisdiction for almost anyone who does business in New York, doesn't apply to this case.
"We are pleased that the New York Court of Appeals has today issued an opinion finding that Mr. Bin Mahfouz is not subject to jurisdiction in New York, thereby effectively ending Dr. Ehrenfeld's misuse of U.S. courts to attack the very appropriate and necessary judgment entered by the English court in favor of Mr. Bin Mahfouz and his family," said Mahfouz's attorney, Timothy Finn.
Hot Air summarizes this nicely:
I'd like to hear from the lawyers out there as to where this case leaves us. Ehrenfeld is a US citizen and her book wasn't published in the UK. Her book entered the UK via Amazon, yet a UK court saw fit to award bin Mafouz damages against her and ordered her to apologize and keep her book, which hadn't been published in the UK, out of the UK. There is no way she can reasonably be expected to do that, even if you assume that her book is libelous (which is dubious, to say the least). The UK court ought not to have ruled on the case at all, as it has no standing to judge a US citizen whose work wasn't published in the UK. But it did, and now the US court has decided not to protect US citizens against this pernicious use of the UK's courts. The questions now are a) what’s the next recourse for Dr. Ehrenfeld and b) is the UK court's decision enforceable in any way on a US citizen?
Elected judges can be unelected; appointed judges can be impeached. This may be the direction to take not just this battle, but many legal battles that America faces.
Farther down at Hot Air, in the comments:
Legally this seems to be a standoff. This particular ruling had to do with jurisdiction, whether Mafouz does enough activity in New York for a New York state court to have jurisdiction over him. If so, then Ehrenfeld would be able to sue in New York courts to enforce a prior ruling by a different court that said that foreign libel judgments against US citizens that run afoul of the First Amendment will not be recognized and enforced by US courts. The New York court ruled that it doesn’t have jurisdiction over Mafouz.
I think this still stymies Mafouz, as it seems to me that as soon as he tries to get a US court to enforce the British judgment, that litigation itself might make him subject to jurisdiction in Ehrenfeld’s preemptive litigation.
rokemronnie on December 20, 2007 at 8:03 PM
Don't understand Andy McCarthy saying it's an "awful" decision. It seems to me the decision is the correct one; it's the outcome that's awful. The court was asked to make a narrow ruling and it did that. This is clearly an issue that has to be decided by federal law, not a state appeals court.
Does anyone have information on Mafouz's claims against Ehrenfeld? What did he say to the British libel court that was so persuasive?
Purple Fury on December 20, 2007 at 8:29 PMDoes anyone have information on Mafouz's claims against Ehrenfeld? What did he say to the British libel court that was so persuasive?
He won because she didn't show up to a court in a place where she doesn't do business. Also, British laws on libel leave alot to be desired.
Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on December 20, 2007 at 8:41 PM
There is also this comment at National Review Online -- The Corner (I reproduced the links):
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Re: Discouraging Libel Tourism Decision [Andy McCarthy]
Stanley, I agree it's an awful decision. (At the end of this piece at Human Events, I outline the federal appeals court case that resulted in today's New York State decision). I have not completely lost hope. The panel in the federal court made clear in its opinion back in June that it was maintaining jurisdiction over the case to deal with any outstanding issues that remained after the state court ruled. That panel consists of three of the best judges in the Second Circuit and, as I've noted, they seemed quite sympathetic to Rachel's plight.
But more to the point, I don't think we should bank on the courts getting overly creative. Congress should enact law establishing a federal cause of action for this kind of intimidation — along the lines of the scheme Rachel complains of — but as to which we don't have to rely on state "long-arm" jurisdiction statutes to reach sophisticated Saudis who game the system by traveling to England to sue Americans but then claim Americans can't touch them in America. If our courts won't protect us from this kind of nonsense, our laws must — especially when the deprivation involved is something as fundamental as free speech.
See also Appeals Court Rejects Ehrenfeld's Bid to Block 'Libel Tourism'. There is a documentary movie that covers this case; you can also follow this story at Dr. Ehrenfeld's website, where you can make a contribution to the legal counterjihad.
What is interesting about this is how so few people want to support the real underdog, a researcher exposing the truth behind terrorism.
The result will be continued foreign -- Saudi -- funding of jihad and radical Islam. Those portrayed as underdogs -- the Islamic terrorists -- are in fact agents of a foreign power bent on conquering the infidel world, just as the mujahideen once swept out of the Arabian desert and conquered all before them, from India to the steppes of Central Asia, to the plains and mountains of Eastern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula, and to the northern half of Africa.
Those agents of foreign powers do not seek to blend into America's melting pot; they seek to take it over. They want the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave to be reduced to submission through fear of criminal acts and legal maneuvers.
They want us to be shaken, our very foundations destroyed by Holy War.
Hat tip to my email tipster.