Federal Court Orders YouTube to Take Down Controversial Anti-Islam Video

February 28, 2014

 

A federal appeals court ordered YouTube to take down a controversial anti-Islam video in an unusual copyright decision that Google, which owns YouTube, said raised questions about freedom of speech.

The video, “Innocence of Muslims,” was briefly blamed in 2012 for inciting violence across the Middle East that killed four American diplomatic personnel in Libya and was the topic of a debate over free speech at the time.

Many countries, including the United States, asked YouTube to consider taking down the video. YouTube refused because it said the video did not violate its guidelines governing hate speech, though it put the video behind a warning page. (It temporarily restricted access to the video in Egypt and Libya, which it called an extraordinary measure. It also restricted access in countries where the video is illegal, including Saudi Arabia, India and Indonesia, in response to court orders.)

But the latest court order is about an entirely different legal issue: copyright.

The case was brought by an actress in the film, Cindy Lee Garcia, who had a minor role for which she was paid $500. The California Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, overturning an earlier federal court decision, ordered YouTube to remove the video because it said that Ms. Garcia had a copyright claim to the work and that the infringement of the copyright had led to death threats against Ms. Garcia by critics of the film.

Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in the majority opinion that the filmmaker had lied to Ms. Garcia about the movie, which turned out to be very different from the one in which she agreed to perform. He also said her performance could be copyrighted.

NY Times: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/federal-court-orders-youtube-to-take-down-controversial-anti-islam-video/?action=click&module=Search&region=searchResults%234&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DHomepage%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3DHomepage%26t%3Dqry714%23%2Fmuslim%2F30days%2Fallresults%2F5%2Fallauthors%2Fnewest%2F

Muslim lesbian couple fight Canadian deportation

IFP Press – March 25, 2012

A Muslim lesbian couple who claim they will be killed if deported to their native Israel due to their sexuality is being given a second chance to remain in Canada. Iman Musa and Majida Mugrabi, of Toronto, arrived in Canada from Tel Aviv in 2007 and filed unsuccessful refugee claims that were appealed to the Federal Court of Canada.

Judge Roger Hughes on March 8 granted the couple another hearing by an Immigration and Refugee Board based on new information that shows one of Mugrabi’s cousin confessed to the “honour killing” of his sister 12-years ago. The couple in an emotional letter that was presented to court claimed they would be killed if turfed to Israel for being a same-sex Muslim couple.

The couple, through their lawyer, Daniel Kingwell, said they were pleased by the court’s decision but still fear for their lives.  “Musa’s brother has threatened to kill her if she does not leave her lesbian relationship and marry a male,” the women alleged. “There are several police complaints regarding the threats of her brother.”

Kingwell said the women will be killed if deported to Israel. No date has been set for a new hearing.

Pictures of Terrorists Do Not Have to Be Anonymized

07.06.2011/ 08.06.2011

On Tuesday, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe decided that the pictures of a convicted Islamic terrorist can appear in the German news media – without being anonymized. This decision was not in favor of the claimant Mazen H. (30), who was convicted by the Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart in 2008 for planning an attack on the then-Prime Minister of Iraq Ijad Allawi during his visit to Berlin in 2004. Mazen H. was arrested before the attack could be carried out; he was then sentenced to eight years in prison for attempted murder and his membership in an Islamic terror organization. Following his conviction in 2008, the Regional Court ordered that pictures of H. had to be anonymized before they were published in order to protect his personal rights. The news agency Reuters, however, disseminated non-anonymized pictures of H., which then also appeared in the German tabloid BILD. H. filed a lawsuit against this publication, which he initially won. Bild, however, appealed and now won the case with the decision by the Federal Court of Justice. The judges found that there was an exceptional need to inform the public about contemporary events; therefore, Mazen H.’s personal rights were secondary.

Muslim Headscarf Headache for Swiss Basketball Player

18 October 2010

Sura Al-Shawk, a Swiss citizen of Iraqi origin, has been unable to participate in any basketball games since her regional league banned her in 2009, due to the headscarf that she wears. Since that time her case has been tossed “like a hot potato” between the regional and national basketball associations, while a civil court has rejected the case. The regional association argues that it has been simply following the rules of the International Basketball Federation (Fiba), which bans religious symbols during official games.

Al-Shawk’s lawyer continues to argue that his client’s “individual rights have been infringed,” and is considering taking the case to the Federal Court.

Discrimination of Muslim Man by Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The RCMP engaged in racial and religious discrimination when it expelled a Muslim man from its cadet academy, the Federal Court of Appeal has ruled, paving the way for the man’s return to training 11 years after his dismissal. The decision upholds a finding by a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2008 that Ali Tahmourpour, 37, faced verbal abuse and hostility from instructors, ridicule over his wearing of religious jewellery, and poor performance evaluations while enrolled in the RCMP’s Regina cadet academy .

Ruling his termination was based “discriminatory assessments of Mr. Tahmourpour’s skills” and that the decision to prevent his return to the academy was “based in part on his race, religion and/or ethnic or national background,” the tribunal ordered Mr. Tahmourpour’s reinstatement. But the Mounties challenged that decision last year in Federal Court, where a judge set aside the order and sent the complaint back to the Tribunal for a rehearing. Mr. Tahmourpour appealed that judgment to the Court of Appeal, where Justice Karen Sharlow this week upheld the Tribunal’s 2008 ruling, stating the RCMP’s “discriminatory treatment of Mr. Tahmourpour denied him the opportunity to complete his training at the Depot and to make his living as an RCMP officer.”

Father issues fatwa on son, now refugee claimant in Canada

Lamine Yansané has been denied refugee status and is seeking a last-ditch reprieve in Federal Court on the grounds that he faces certain harm if he is deported from Canada. In his hometown of Boké in Guinea, his father is a revered imam called for his death after having married a Catholic woman and abandoned Islam for Christianity. “If you return him to his country, he is going to die,” Mr. Yansané’s lawyer, Stewart Istvanffy, told the court. He called his client “a victim of radical Islam, who is threatened by the imam of his town, his own father.”

Mr. Yansané, 37, arrived in Canada from Guinea in the fall of 2005. He told the Immigration and Refugee Board that he fled the West African nation after his father and uncle tracked him down in the country’s capital of Conakry, confronted him about his church attendance and threatened him as a traitor to Islam. His wife and three children remain in Guinea. Mr. Yansané had been issued a new Guinean passport and preparations were underway to deport him last January when Federal Court Justice François Lemieux issued a stay pending a further review of the case. It has yet to be decided whether the first judgement will be revoked.

Raid at Terror Suspect´s Ottawa Home Defended

The Canada Border Services Agency told the Canadian Federal Court that a terror suspect’s Ottawa house was raided last month to see if he was complying with bail conditions. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service says Mr. Harkat, a refugee from Algeria, is an Islamic extremist and member of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network.

Sixteen border service and police officers, accompanied by three sniffer dogs, spent six hours last month searching the house from top to bottom in the surprise raid. Mr. Harkat’s lawyers consider the raid illegal and abusive, and the Federal Court is looking at whether the operation strayed outside the law. Court proceedings will take place in the next few months.

Swiss court legitimizes hatred-inciting poster

The Swiss Federal Court acquitted coalition partner the Democratic Union of the Center (UDC), a right-wing political party, from charges of its election campaign poster inciting hatred between communities. In the poster, Swiss Muslim citizens are seen worshipping. The superscript over the photo reads “Use your heads,” urging non-Muslim citizens to vote for the party in the face of the “Muslim threat.” The Muslims, photographed whilst prostrating themselves in prayer, came together in Bern in a show of solidarity when the cartoon crisis erupted in Denmark in 2005. Ali Ihsan Aydin reports.

Honor Killing Case: Brothers of Slain Turkish Woman to Be Retried

Two brothers of a Turkish woman murdered in Germany in an honor killing have been ordered to be retried on charges of accessory to murder in the 2005 incident. There are suspicions that her youngest brother, who was convicted of the crime, did not act alone. A German court has ordered the reopening of the trial of two Turkish immigrants who were acquitted of charges related to the honor killing of their sister, who apparently led a lifestyle that was too Western for her conservative siblings. Germany’s Federal Court of Justice in Leipzig on Tuesday ordered the 26- and 28-year-old brothers of Hatun S_r_c_ to be retried. S_r_c_’s youngest brother, who was 18 at the time, was convicted of shooting and killing the 23-year-old single mother.

Chicago Muslim Granted Citizenship After Five-Year Delay

The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today announced the resolution of a citizenship delay case that has been pending for the past five years. Despite successfully passing his citizenship exam in 2002 and taking part in repeated interviews, CAIR-Chicago’s client had his naturalization delayed pending a background check. The client was recently sworn in by the presiding Northern Illinois District Federal Court judge instead of in the usual group oath ceremony. His case was resolved before a June 15th court hearing. “Law-abiding Muslims throughout the nation are facing unreasonable delays in being granted citizenship,” said CAIR-Chicago attorney Bitta Mostofi. “CAIR-Chicago will continue to advocate for and represent individuals who have experienced these unnecessarily lengthy delays.” CAIR-Chicago launched an ongoing class action complaint again the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2005 seeking to place a cap on the amount of time allotted to conduct the background checks necessary for acquiring citizenship and to prohibit discrimination based on religion in applying for citizenship. CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.