Citing a host of legal and governmental efforts in the U.S. and abroad aimed at stifling free speech, two opponents of "lawfare" say it's time to start punching back.
In a column in Tuesday's Washington Times, Brooke Goldstein and Aaron Eitan Meyer cite examples of lawfare, or the use of civil litigation, to try to defeat your opponents and enemies, including a United Nations effort to criminalize statements considered defamatory toward Islam and ongoing lawsuits of a similar vein.
The two were part of a conference on the issue organized by the Legal Project at the Middle East Forum, the Federalist Society, the Center for National Security Law and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.
If nothing slows the lawfare phenomenon down, Goldstein and Meyer advocate returning the favor:
"Perhaps, turning radical Islam's tactics against it is the solution. If Europeans can be prosecuted by Islamists using the European Union's legal system, should it then not follow that radical Imams in Muslim countries can be cited by European citizens and extradition be requested by them to European courts for their anti-Semitic and anti-Christian rhetoric? Whatever the particular solution may be, some attempt must be made, and soon."
The lawfare event drew some attention after U.S. Sen. Alren Specter (D-PA) withdrew last week from speaking at the conference. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) claimed victory, saying the move came after it launched a petition drive urging Specter not to attend.
The Middle East Forum points out that's not the case.