Search  |  Login  |  Register

By Jay Sekulow1312238515000

A couple of days ago, I told you about a disturbing new lawsuit by an atheist organization that is trying to stop the display of a cross at Ground Zero - part of a museum being built to commemorate the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001. You also know that we will be filing an amicus brief backing the constitutional display of that cross in court. We will be representing former NYC firefighter and first responder Tim Brown and others.

Now comes another 9-11 case, this one also out of New York City. It's difficult to believe, but officials with the City's Department of Parks and Recreation repeatedly have turned down requests from an organization to permit the showing of a documentary made about 9-11 survivors.

We represent the Christian Action Network (CAN) in this case, which has been denied permission to utilize a number of City parks, which are available and routinely used by other organizations, to show a documentary entitled: “Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mega-Mosque,” which addresses the controversy surrounding the mosque at Ground Zero from the perspective of individuals who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Communications between the Parks Department and CAN’s representatives reveal that the Department’s concern over the documentary’s content and viewpoint is the issue.

We've sent a demand letter to the City - putting them on notice that their actions are in violation of the First Amendment rights of our client. The demand letter, posted here, is very clear:

"The law is clear: the City has violated the Christian Action Network’s rights under the First Amendment," the demand letter states. "The City’s refusal to approve CAN’s applications due to disagreement with the content and viewpoint of the documentary violates CAN’s First Amendment rights. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from 'abridging the freedom of speech.'"

The facts of this case are particularly troubling.

In light of the upcoming 10th anniversary commemorating the horrific attacks at Ground Zero, CAN had requested to show the documentary in seven different locations in the City.

On one occasion, a Department representative rejected the requests saying the venues were "booked." A review of the Department's own scheduling calendar revealed that was not the case.

On another occasion, a Department representative told CAN that the documentary touched on a sensitive subject near the 9-11 anniversary and that because City schools would be in session, there would be a greater likelihood of children and youth viewing the documentary. The representative rejected the request saying children viewing the documentary might become upset.

Here's the truth: The City cannot refuse the organization an opportunity to show this documentary based upon its content. That's viewpoint discrimination and a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In our demand letter, we're urging the City to take immediate corrective action and permit the film to be shown, or face possible litigation.

I will keep you posted on how this develops.

Latest in
Jihad

DOD Reconsiders Self-Defense Policy

By Joseph Williams1438368343924

Over 50,000 of you spoke up after terrorism struck on American soil once again in Chattanooga, TN. Now, the Department of Defense (DOD) is responding, reevaluating dangerous priorities. After a jihadist murdered five unarmed soldiers at military installations here at home, we spoke up and you stood...

read more

Jihad Struck Texas Last Night

By Matthew Clark1430766930302

Jihad struck Texas last night. It’s just the latest skirmish in a global radical Islamic assault on free speech – on freedom. It’s a war. ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, and al Qaeda are just a few of the named brigades in this radical Islamic jihadist army. The two Islamic terrorists who opened fire...

read more

Turkey’s Dangerous Flirtation

By Shaheryar Gill1427922661865

As the Middle East is in turmoil and the global Church faces some of the worst religious persecution in history, the ACLJ continues its engagement through our newly established Oxford Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy . Recently, I had the privilege to participate in a Symposium on...

read more

ISIS & Hamas on American Campuses?

By Carly F. Gammill1427827346003

It is no secret that getting into an Ivy League school can be tough. The Ivies are among the most competitive schools when it comes to not only accepting students but also hiring educators. But it seems at least one Ivy League school may be welcoming known terrorists seeking to train others in the...

read more