(CHICAGO, IL, 12/28/07) – The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today welcomed a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to overturn a controversial award judgment against American Muslim charities in an Illinois civil suit.
SEE: $156M Damage Award Thrown Out (AP)
In 2004, attorneys for 17-year-old David Boim, who was murdered at a Tel Aviv bus stop, sued local Muslim charities based on a complicated guilt-by-association argument. After today’s ruling, the case will return to trial court for further action.
The Judgment read, in part:
“Belief, assumption, and speculation are no substitutes for evidence in a court of law…We must resist the temptation to gloss over error, admit spurious evidence, and assume facts not adequately proved simply to side with the face of innocence and against the face of terrorism. Our endeavor to adhere to the dictates of law that this great nation has embodied since its founding must persevere…”
In a statement, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said:
“Today, our nation’s great tradition of respect for the rule of law has been upheld. This landmark ruling is a strong rejection of the recent disturbing trend of political lawsuits against American Muslims who have committed no crime other than providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians.
“Pro-Israel groups are engaged in a broad-based attack against domestic humanitarian efforts to aid Palestinians living in dire circumstances under the Israeli occupation. It is reprehensible that groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) would fund and encourage lawsuits that seek to repress First Amendment-protected activities by Palestinian Americans under the guise of fighting terrorism.
“The defendants in this case have endured a seven-year legal battle in which their reputations have been smeared and their assets confiscated. While the destruction of American Muslim groups who have committed no wrong-doing is irreparable, today’s decision, in which the rules of law were finally applied, helps restore the American people’s trust in the system.
“CAIR deplores the murder of David Boim and hopes that the actual wrong-doers are brought to justice.”
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 33 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”
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CONTACT: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, 312-212-1520; 847-971-3963, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham, 312-212-1520, E-Mail: email@example.com