FPI / July 29, 2019
By Christopher W Holton, Center for Security Policy
Last week USA Today and the Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity published an article attacking state-level efforts to combat terrorism and protect individual fundamental constitutional rights.
I am personally very proud to have worked on such efforts to protect individual fundamental constitutional rights and efforts to empower survivors and victims of terrorism.
Amazingly, despite the 3,000 words dedicated by the authors of the USA Today article to the subject, something curious never made it into their article: What the two forms of legislation in question actually say.
Why would journalists not report the words on paper that they are supposedly writing about?
The two pieces of legislation that USA Today and CPI targeted were American Laws for American Courts and Andy’s Law.
American Laws for American Courts
The purpose of American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) is spelled out clearly in the opening paragraph of the model legislation:
The [general assembly/legislature] finds that it shall be the public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application of a foreign law will result in the violation of a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States, including but not limited to due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy or marriage as specifically defined by the constitution of this state.
Note that this purpose was never mentioned in the USA Today article, probably because it doesn’t fit the narrative of the article that the legislation is “Islamophobic.”
And despite the reporters’ shoddy research, American Laws for American Courts has in fact been applied in a court case in Kansas to safeguard the constitutional rights of a woman who happens to be Muslim.
American Laws for American Courts has passed into law in Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and North Carolina. ALAC-inspired or modified ALAC legislation has also been passed into law in Florida, Texas and South Dakota.
Andy’s Law was crafted to empower victims and survivors of terrorism.
On June 1, 2009, terrorism literally hit home in Little Rock, Arkansas when a terrorist, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe) shot two U.S. Army soldiers outside a recruiting office in a shopping mall. Killed in that attack was Pvt. William “Andy” Long. Pvt. Quinton I. Ezeagwula was wounded.
This incident was documented in the movie Losing Our Sons, a condensed version of which can be seen here:
To fully comprehend the true nature of the threat of terrorism, one must understand that, though Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad had been labeled a “lone wolf,” such terrorism does not happen in a vacuum.
Before he became Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, Carlos Bledsoe was recruited. He was indoctrinated. He was selected to receive training in the far off land of Yemen and, after that training, he committed horrible acts of terrorism in what he himself termed “Jihad.”
Terrorism doesn’t just happen. Terrorism is committed and terrorist acts are perpetrated by individuals who are motivated and trained. In some cases they are funded directly, but all of the activities involving recruitment, indoctrination, training and funding constitute material support for terrorism.
Not only did Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad commit dastardly acts of terrorism, but others provided support that eventually led to his act of terrorism. For that those people should have been made to pay. Unfortunately, there has been no specific mechanism to see to it that they should pay.
That is starting to change with the passage of legislation known as “Andy’s Law” in Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, North Carolina , Tennessee and Florida.
An example of Andy’s Law can be viewed here:
Andy’s Law protects the rights of victims of terrorism by empowering them to take civil action against those who commit these heinous crimes against them and their loved ones.
Andy’s Law allows for seizure of the assets including money, used in the course of, intended for use in the course of, derived from, or realized through terrorism. This would empower law enforcement to prevent terrorists, or attempted terrorists, and those who support them, from keeping their assets.
Andy’s Law also creates a civil cause of action against terrorists by victims that allows victims to recover actual damages, treble damages and attorneys fees. This would allow victims of terrorism to sue those who committed the terrorist act and, most importantly, those who provided material support for the terrorist act. Current law in most states does not clearly establish such a cause of action, nor does current law provide for attorney’s fees, costs, or treble damages against those who commit, or materially support, acts of terror.
Andy’s Law empowers state and local law enforcement, as well as victims of terrorism, to not just prosecute the perpetrators of acts of terrorism but also those who provide material support—funding, recruitment, indoctrination, training and other forms of support–which lead up to those acts.
This common sense legislation has received broad, bipartisan support in the states in which it has been passed into law, usually passing unanimously. There was no known opposition to Andy’s Law outside of Muslim Brotherhood organizations and the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center…until very recently when a George Soros-funded NGO (the Center for Public Integrity) masquerading as a news organization began contacting legislators around the country who have sponsored Andy’s Law essentially implying that they authored legislation that unfairly targets Muslims.
These accusations and the implications contained in the USA Today article are perfectly ridiculous and can only persist by concealing the actual language of the legislation. Here is the opening paragraph of the Florida law:
Civil remedy for terrorism or facilitating or furthering terrorism. — (1) A person who is injured by an act of terrorism as defined in s. 775.30 or a violation of a law for which the penalty is increased pursuant to s. 775.31 for facilitating or furthering terrorism has a cause of action for threefold the actual damages sustained and, in any such action, is entitled to minimum damages in the amount of $1,000 and reasonable attorney fees and court costs in the trial and appellate courts.
Andy’s Law can be used to empower victims of terrorism of all types whether the terrorists were Jihadists, white supremacists, environmental extremists, anarchists or communists.
It is worth noting that the main interviewed sources for the USA Today article came from two suspect circles:
• The scandal-ridden, discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)–an extreme Left-wing organization masquerading as civil rights organization.
• The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing prosecution in U.S. history.
CAIR is so discredited that the legislatures of two states have directed law enforcement inside their borders to refuse to conduct outreach with them. Interestingly, that is one form of state level legislation that didn’t manage to get mentioned in the USA Today article.
Christopher W. Holton is Vice President for Outreach at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.
FPI, Free Press International