The state of Maine is fining the Christian Action Network (CAN) $4,000 for mailings the state considers to include an "inflammatory anti-Muslim message."
The fines are based on two regulatory violations that CAN denies committing.
"These bogus charges and fines the State of Maine has imposed are nothing but an attempt to stifle our free speech and silence our organization from speaking out about the steady creep of radical Islam in America," CAN president Martin Mawyer told Patrick Poole at Pajamas Media. "We fully intend to appeal the state's penalties because if they successfully silence us here, we will quickly find that we won't be able to speak out anywhere."
At issue is a mailing CAN sent to state residents urging them to protest petition Maine's governor against proposed school curriculum that could require "students to pray to Allah, dress up as Muslims, adopt Muslim names, and learn the five pillars of Islam." Similar exercises for other religions are not a part of the program.
Poole didn't get far trying to get state officials to specify what was inflammatory about the mailing. But, he said part of the fine is rooted in CAN's lack of a proper registration for the mailing and the unsanctioned use of Gov. John Baldacci's name. CAN denies the allegations.
Given the screeds that fly around during a political campaign, it's difficult to imagine how Maine's action makes any sense. Read Poole's full report here.