The ex-Marine’s car left little doubt that he despised Islam and equated it with terrorism.
“ISLAM = TERRORISM” read one decal. Another showed a cartoon boy urinating on a man wearing a turban. Two featured a stop symbol over “The KORAN” and another over the star and crescent symbol. Yet another said disgrace my flag and I will (defecate) on your Quran.
Jesse Nieto was angry over the death of his son in the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S.-Cole in Yemen by Islamist militants. But officials at the military base where he worked told him he could not display the anti-Islamic decals on federal property.
The 25-year veteran has filed a federal lawsuit accusing base officials of violating his constitutional rights by requiring he remove them and preventing him from driving on federal installations.
Nieto’s youngest son Marc, 24, one of 17 U.S. Navy troops killed in the terrorist attacks, is buried at Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington D.C. The ban on driving the offending car in federal installations blocks him from visiting his son’s grave, the lawsuit alleges, though public transportation is readily available.
In July, Nieto’s supervisor at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where he worked as a civilian in an electrical shop, threatened to fire him if he did not remove the stickers and police issued him a ticket for displaying “offensive material.”…
But since the ban does not prohibit speech in public areas, but rather restricted speech in a military location, it is not a free speech issue, said Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“I think it’s up to the military to decide what constitutes good order and discipline on military sites. I don’t think anyone is saying he can’t be an anti-Muslim bigot in public but we're talking about military sites,” Hooper told AlArabiya.net. (MORE)