Update: Kaufman has a web site up – http://kaufmanforcongress.com
Joe Kaufman announced that he will be running for Congress in district 20 against Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz in Fort Lauderdale in front of the Tea Party Fort Lauderdale.
Kaufman has exposed terrorists and the many terror links in Florida and elsewhere for quite some time, taking on CAIR, ICNA, Keith Ellison, jihadists at Florida universities and mosques. He also won a critical free speech decision in the courts against Islamic litigation jihadists. Kaufman responded to FrontPage magazine after winning that case, Victory for Free Speech, Slows Sharia in U.S.:
Kaufman: Yes, it was an important victory, for both the War on Terrorism and Freedom of Speech. Thank you for allowing me this forum to speak about it.
Seven radical Muslim organizations, including the Muslim American Society (MAS) and three Islamic centers owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), filed a lawsuit against me for the simple reason that they wanted to punish me financially for writing about the terrorist ties of their friends. They claimed that I wrote an article which libeled them. Yet not one of the organizations suing me was mentioned in the piece. They filed a restraining order against me, claiming that I was a threat to them, but I have never threatened anyone. With regard to this case, it was only I that received a threat. The case against me was frivolous the moment it was filed, and thankfully that’s how the court found it, albeit a year and a half and nearly $100,000 later.
FP: How were our freedoms threatened by this lawsuit brought against you?
Kaufman: The fear is that, if one writes something that is disagreeable to Islamist groups – even if it’s based entirely on fact, which my article was – he/she will be sued. And in my case, I was sued for writing about groups more than half of which I had never heard of. The chilling effect is real, and the intimidation is real. Indeed, when my lawyers and I walked into the courtroom in October 2007 for a hearing on the case, the courthouse was packed with what seemed to be the entire Dallas-area Muslim community. I was rubbing shoulders with people that were eyeing me like they yearned for my death. No judge wanted to hear the case. When we finally found a judge, four hours later, the courtroom was standing room only with people that considered me an enemy. Who knows how many writers in the past have been frightened off by this intimidation? Here in America, we have our freedoms, but they can easily be abused, as can the legal system.
FP: How does this victory of yours help the cause of freedom?
Kaufman: The groups that were suing me were using this as a test case for future lawsuits like it. As Mahdi Bray, one of MAS’s leaders, recently stated on his radio show, “I think the situation with Joe Kaufman was an excellent example, but we need to set that example all around, you know, for all of them – all of those Islamophobes, the Spencers, the Pipes and the Emersons, and all that whole group. We need to make sure that we lawyer up, and if they cross the line, then we need to go head-on and take them into legal proceedings.” For Mr. Bray, we “cross the line” every time we write about his support for terrorists and his group’s ties to terrorists. Mr. Bray’s group didn’t initiate this lawsuit because it felt that I had defamed it in any way. It was only done to end my speech. Hopefully, my victory will lend credence to this and will ultimately do harm to future cases that attempt to manipulate the legal system, brought by Islamists and otherwise.
*Title updated from anti-jihad “candidate” to more anti-jihad “journalist“