On Aug. 2, the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) was threatened with legal action by lawyers for the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) if the conservative student group didn't cancel a scheduled talk on CAIR by best-selling author and Islamic expert Robert Spencer.
To be sure, neither the redoubtable Spencer nor YAF buckled under CAIR's bullying, and, to date, CAIR's threats have not materialized. Indeed, both Spencer's resolve and YAF's response -- "CAIR can go to hell and they can take their 72 virgins with them" -- are an inspiration.
There's even a bright spot in the Cambridge disgrace. The two American authors of "Alms for Jihad," J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins, were not sued; just the British publisher. For this protection, we can probably thank Rachel Ehrenfeld, terror-expert and author of the 2003 book, "Funding Evil." When the courageous Ehrenfeld was sued in 2004 by the same litigious Saudi billionaire in British court (he has brought or threatened suit several times on similar grounds), she refused to accept the premise that a British court should have jurisdiction over an American writer's American-published book. She took legal action in U.S. courts, where, to date, her case is finding protection for American writers from British law.
We can take heart from such victories. But these individual acts of courage will only amount to gallant sacrifices if they aren't upheld as victories over a jihadist effort to shut the rest of us up -- to curb everybody's freedom to name the Muslim billionaires behind global jihad, to investigate the thuggery of an Islamic city gang, to create thrillers about Saudi terror-princes, to speak out about CAIR's jihadist links and more.
In other words, these are the new dots that urgently need connecting. And what connects them all, from street violence to legal intimidation, is the chilling effect they each bring to bear on the free and unfettered investigation, analysis and assessment of Islam and jihad.