Islamophobia Monitor

Inner Core

Introduction

Date Founded: 2012

The American Freedom Law Center is a self-described “first truly authentic Judeo-Christian, public interest law firm” co-founded by David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise. According to its website, AFLC seeks to “advance and defend our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage in courts.” In the apparent guise of defending religious liberty, the law firm has repeatedly engaged in action that vilifies Islam and promotes a fear of the faith and its practitioners.

Background

AFLC’s believes that, “For good or ill, the battle for America’s soul is being waged in the courtrooms across America, pressed forward by secular progressives and sharia-advocating Muslim Brotherhood interests.” Its stated mission is “to fight for faith and freedom through litigation, education, and public policy programs.”

The organization’s 2014 Form 990 reported $732,306 in revenue.

Legal Counsel for Islamophobia

The Center acts as the U.S. Islamophobia Network’s legal counsel. It is known for its lawsuits seeking to compel public transportation systems to display anti-Islam ads produced by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s American Freedom Defense Initiative. Yerushalmi also on the staff of Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, where he serves as general counsel.

In 2015, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said it was plausible to conclude that the advertisements "demean[ed] or disparage[d] Muslims or Palestinians."

In 2013, the Chicago Transit Authority's general counsel, Karen Seimetz, said the ads were “morally reprehensible — advocating racism, hatred and intolerance of cultural diversity.”

AFLC has represented private businesses in court who have sought to create so-called “Muslim-free” zones. In 2015, it was hired to defend the owners of Urth Caffe in southern California against charges of discrimination for throwing Muslim women out of the restaurant. The counter-suit filed by the Center accused the Muslim women of waging “civilizational jihad” which aims to “weaken western civilization.” The same year it also defended a gun range in Oklahoma which posted a sign near its front entrance stating it was a “Muslim free establishment.”

American Laws for American Courts

Yerushalmi has has created and pushed model legislation, American Laws for American Courts, which is intended to vilify Islam. The sample bill was drafted at the request of the American Public Policy Alliance, another inner core group of the Islamophobia Network. It has been adopted in a number of state legislatures across the country, including Arizona, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Other Initiatives

In October of 2015, Yerushalmi and Muise authored a report for the Center for Security Policy titled, “Offensive and Defensive Lawfare: Fighting Civilizational Jihad in America’s Courts.” It advanced the conspiracy theory that the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated organizations were “engaging in civilization jihad in America” and falsely claimed that Shariah was “being enforced in America’s courts.”

Key Individuals

David Yerushalmi

Position: Co-Founder

For more on Yerushalmi, see his profile.

Robert Muise

Position: Co-Founder

Prior to co-founding AFLC, Muise was Senior Trial Counsel at the Thomas More Law Center, a Christian right public interest law firm. TMLC has fought against the teaching of the basic tenets of Islam in public schools, labeling such efforts as “proselytizing.”

His words:

  • “[Sharia] is antithetical to our fundamental principles. Under sharia, there is no freedom of religion, no free speech, women are treated as second-class citizens, and the law has to come from Allah. It denies liberties and is therefore a threat to the Constitution.” In an interview with the North Carolina Register, 2012.
  • “80% of the mosques in the United States distribute literature that promotes violence against nonbelievers.” In an interview with the North Carolina Register, 2012.
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