The wheels of justice grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine. (I wanted to title this Clock Boy Gets His Clock Cleaned but Ken White at Popehat already had it.)
If you recall back a year and a half ago, a guy named Mohamed Mohamed (naturally) used his son, Ahmed Mohamed as a pawn in a deadly public affairs stunt to try to prove a point about endemic islamophobia in the Irving (TX) school district. Young Ahmed altered a standard Radio Shack clock by removing its housing then he brought the device to school, claiming he had “built” it, and school, being what schools are these days, went batsh** crazy. Police were called. Mohamed Squared screamed about islamophobia and took off for a spiritual retreat or something in Qatar.
Mohamed and Ahmed returned to the United States and in September they filed a wide ranging lawsuit alleging… well, basically that some people had said meany pants things about them. Ken White at Popehat picks up the story:
Mohamed Mohamed, acting (with questionable judgment) on behalf of Ahmed Mohamed, filed a civil complaint in Dallas County, Texas naming The Blaze, Glenn Beck, the Center for Security Policy (“CSP”), CSP member Jim Hanson, Fox Television, Fox correspondent Ben Ferguson, commentator Ben Shapiro, and Mayor Beth Van Duyne. The complaint, a painfully disorganized and meandering composition, asserted (ambiguously) libel, asserting that (1) Glenn Beck, Jim Hanson, and Mayor Van Duyne suggested on Beck’s show that the Mohamed family staged the incident for PR, (2) Fox 4 News correspondent Ben Ferguson suggested that the incident was planned by Mohamed Mohamed, and (3) Ben Shapiro told Fox News that he thought the incident was a hoax.
What Mohamed did was file the quintessential SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participatioh) Lawsuit where you shut up critics by suing them and forcing them to decide between their free speech rights and their wallet because defending against a lawsuit runs into real money very quickly.
Unfortunately for Mohamed, Texas has a fairly stringent anti-SLAPP statute that allows people sued to recover attorney’s fees from the plaintiff.
The case against Beck was dismissed in December and Mohamed ordered to pay $96,000 in fees and expenses. Yesterday, the case against the American Freedom Law Center was dismissed. They are seeking fees, expenses, and monetary sanctions. The remaining case against Ben Shapiro gets its hearing at the end of the month. It is hard to see how it suffers a different fate. When all this is over Mohamed and his islamofascist bankers will be some $300K poorer.