9th US Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski gives legal consideration to Sharia fatwa in amended opinion for en banc hearing of his order to quash YouTube’s First Amendment Right to post anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims.”
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Florida Family Association sent out several email alerts earlier this year that reported a 3 judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Google on February 26, 2014 to remove the controversial movie “Innocence of Muslims” from Youtube.com. The panel voted 2-1 to reverse a lower court order that denied the injunction sought in Cindy Lee Garcia’s law suit. Garcia sued Google on October 17, 2012 seeking a restraining order that would require Youtube.com to remove “Innocence of Muslims” from their web service. Garcia claimed that she had a copyright for a five second video that was incorporated into the film and that she had not given permission for its use in the movie. She also claimed that she would suffer irreparable harm from an Islamic fatwa if the movie were not removed from access on the World Wide Web.
“Innocence of Muslims” which sparked protests across the Muslim world “depicts Muhammad as a feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse, among other overtly insulting claims that have caused outrage. In a 13 minute 51 second trailer, the Islamic prophet is made to look like a murderer and adulterer as well” according to TheBlaze.com
Defendant Google, who owns YouTube, had petitioned the appellate court to hear the case en banc by all of the justices in the 9th US Circuit. However, the en banc hearing was delayed until now to allow the three judge panel to amend the opinion and dissent. The court amended the opinion and dissent on July 11, 2014. This opinion amendment was not posted on the court’s web site until July 24,2014.
9th US Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski amended opinion states in part:
- While answering a casting call for a low-budget amateur film doesn’t often lead to stardom, it also rarely turns an aspiring actress into the subject of a fatwa. But that’s exactly what happened to Cindy Lee Garcia when she agreed to act in a film with the working title “Desert Warrior.”
- These, of course, are fighting words to many faithful Muslims and, after the film aired on Egyptian television, there were protests that generated worldwide news coverage. An Egyptian cleric issued a fatwa, calling for the killing of everyone involved with the film, and Garcia soon began receiving death threats. She responded by taking a number of security precautions and asking that Google remove the video from YouTube.
- There’s nothing in the record to suggest that Youssef was in the “regular business” of making films. Reid, 490 U.S. at 752. He’d held many jobs, but there’s no indication he ever worked in the film industry. And there’s no evidence he had any union contracts, relationships with prop houses or other film suppliers, leases of studio space or distribution agreements. The dissent would hold that Youssef was in the “regular business” of filmmaking simply because he made “Innocence of Muslims.” But if shooting a single amateur film amounts to the regular business of filmmaking, every schmuck with a video camera becomes a movie mogul.
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski’s opinion which references the fatwa against Garcia essentially elevates the Sharia law command to censor blasphemy of Muhammad over the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This lawsuit would never have happened were it not for the fatwa issued by the Egyptian Imam that ordered the killing of anyone involved in the production of “Innocence of Muslims.” Garcia did not take legal action until six months after the video was released. The fatwa is the potential “irreparable harm,” one of four factors required for a restraining order, sited in the appellate court’s opinion for the basis of ordering Google to remove “Innocence of Muslims” from YouTube. Any restraining order should be focused on the Islamists who want to kill Americans not on Americans who want to exercise their First Amendment Rights.
Additionally, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski’s opinion prejudicially determines who serious producers are and who are not and elevates the copyrights of “aspiring actresses” over first time producers. Judge Kozinski’s opinion erroneously discounts the fact that Youseff, the film’s producer paid Garcia, the actress, $500 for her video footage at issue. Judge Kozinski’s opinion prejudicially establishes that copyrights for amateurs and professionals are different when the court should be establishing equity.
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski’s opinion could empower Islamists to focus their angst against more actors in videos and perhaps people in photos with the goal of influencing them to demand removal of the same from movies, website posts or blog posts. The Council on American Islamic Relations’ censorship of American films has been robust lately. CAIR recently boasted: CAIR has challenged actual and potential anti-Muslim stereotypes in productions such as ABC Family network’s “Alice in Arabia,” “Executive Decision,” “24,” “The Siege,” “True Lies,” “Rules of Engagement,” “Obsession,” “The Third Jihad,” “Jihad in America,” and “The Sum of All Fears.”
Now the full 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the panel’s troubled ruling that was approved by a 2-1 vote.
Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to the forty three 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals justices urging them to affirm the First Amendment rights that all Americans cherish by reversing the panel’s troubled ruling and affirming the district court’s order. Florida Family Association is taking a position in this case based upon judicial principle and without regard to the parties involved or content of the movie.
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Filed under: Creeping Sharia, Legal, Media, News, Politics, Religion, Sharia, Stealth Jihad | Tagged: Creeping Sharia, islam, law, Legal, Life, litigation jihad, Media, Muslim, News, Obama, Politics, Random, Religion, Sharia, Technology, youtube | 6 Comments »