Civil Rights & Constitutional Law
This may surprise you, but lawyers have limited free-speech rights
September 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Washington, DC - Today, American Muslim commentator, radio host, and comedian Dean Obeidallah filed a defamation lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against the publishers of The Daily Stormer, a Neo-Nazi and white-supremacist website, including its founder, Andrew Anglin, in response to their publication of false and defamatory statements.
The complaint alleges as follows:
Mr. Obeidallah is one of the nation's best known American-Muslim comedians and is also a political commentator. He hosts the national daily radio program "The Dean Obeidallah Show" on SiriusXM radio, writes weekly for The Daily Beast and CNN.com's Opinion Section, and can be seen frequently in the national media discussing contemporary political issues.
"No one deserves to be defamed and threatened online by a racist neo-Nazi mob simply for expressing ideas and beliefs," said Mr. Obeidallah. "I'm hopeful that this lawsuit will ensure that others are not victimized by these types of blatant lies and harassment."
Mr. Anglin is the well-known publisher of The Daily Stormer, which holds itself out as a journalistic news organization that is willing to do "the job other news websites won't do" and that caters to the neo-Nazi and white-supremacist movements. Through articles like the one about Mr. Obeidallah, Mr. Anglin has cultivated an online community that routinely threatens and seeks to intimidate religious and racial minorities.
"The Daily Stormer has published false information and fabricated evidence in its effort to mislead its readers and promote anti-Muslim sentiment," said Johnathan Smith, legal director of Muslim Advocates. "Knowingly publishing false information in order to target and silence those with whom you disagree is unlawful and unacceptable, and publishers like Andrew Anglin need to be held accountable."
The complaint alleges that The Daily Stormer has a long history and pattern of using defamatory and hateful language against individuals, including the malicious fabrication of stories.
Johnathan Smith, Sirine Shebaya, and Juvaria Khan of Muslim Advocates; Abid Qureshi and Christopher Fawal of Latham & Watkins LLP; and Subodh Chandra and Donald Screen of The Chandra Law Firm LLC, represent Mr. Obeidallah.