Monday, October 05, 2009

Maine Fines Christians for Criticizing Islam

A Christian organization in Maine has filed a lawsuit to challenge a bureaucratic decision to impose a $4,000 fine for its "criticism" of Islam, expressed in a mailing to supporters.

-- From "Maine fines group for criticizing Islam" by Bob Unruh © 2009 WorldNetDaily 10/1/09

The issue developed following a Christian Action Network [CAN] fundraising letter several months ago. The letter exposed "how some public schools were promoting Islalm by providing instruction on the Five Pillars of Islam and the Quran," according to the complaint against the state.

"The [CAN] letter pointed out that some schools have provided a 'prayer room' for Muslims and one textbook that told seventh grade students they 'will become Muslim.' The letter listed Gov. John Baldacci as a person who is over the public schools and someone to whom the recipients of the letter should voice their opinion," the complaint said.

State officials then alleged the letter contained "an inflammatory anti-Muslim message" and used the governor's name without his permission and canceled the group's registration, imposed a $4,000 fine and said it no longer could send out letters.

Christian Action Network officials said the letter was dispatched to expose Islamic advocacy in public schools and ask citizens to sign a petition to their governor opposing the programs.

The accusations then came from the state Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. "The correspondence contained an inflammatory anti-Muslim message," state officials proclaimed.

"The state of Maine believes our letter is offensive to Muslims and they want us to shut up or pay up. They are accusing us of 'hate speech' without directly calling it 'hate speech.' They want to set a legal precedent which other states can follow for suppressing free speech they find offensive," [Martin Mawyer, CAN president] said.

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