If you received public notice that a piece of land near your home was going to be rezoned into a heavily trafficked shopping mall, you might have some concerns. To voice those concerns, you might publicly express your opposition to the construction project in a town meeting or by passing out flyers. And that's okay. This is America and we are allowed free speech.

But the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights advocacy group also known as CAIR, wanted to punish Michigan residents for voicing their disapproval over the proposed construction of a Muslim school and community center by the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor (MCA).

The center would have been built-in Pittsfield Township, but residents of the township protested the proposed zoning citing concerns about increased noise and traffic in the area.

Okay, so far, everyone has done everything right. The Muslim group, MCA, wanting to build the center submitted a zoning proposal. Residents of the area looked at the proposal, used their freedom of speech, and said that they didn't want it built.

Unfortunately, that's where CAIR enters the picture. Working on behalf of MCA, CAIR filed a lawsuit aimed at targeting members of the community who opposed the community center, saying that they were doing so because of bias towards Muslims.

But the intimidation didn't end there. CAIR found the names of citizens who had publicly opposed construction of the center and issued subpoenas for personal emails and information and even a disposition to appear before court.

Thankfully, a Michigan judge slammed CAIR for attempting to put a lock on free speech and public expression of dissent--things that are essential here in America.

While advocacy groups can be great forces for good and change, we should be thankful that a judge recognized the injury that these actions by CAIR would have caused. Let's hope the justice system continues to stand up for American citizens, and doesn't get bogged down by advocacy groups that can't comprehend how wrong their actions are.

h/t: Freedom Outpost



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