Gideon Caplin, Benjamin Gourgey and Josh Goodman over at AmSpec have piece on the “lawfare” of Muslim student associations and the Councilon American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The issue is whether Muslim students should have permission to pray during school hours. Caplin, Gourgey, and Goodman concede that the case can be made for student-led prayer under certain conditions. But then they turn ad hominem circumstantial:
Despite the fact that student-led prayer in public schools that adheres to the above criteria can be carried out within the law, Muslim students undermine their cause by directly inviting the assistance of CAIR, an organization that has been accused of financially supporting the terrorist activities of Hamas.
The trouble is that it doesn’t matter who CAIR has given money to (or has been accused of giving money to). If the students have the right, they have the right. It’s not clear what the implication is or how this circumstance is supposed to undermine a case. If the implication is that CAIR gives money to Islamic exteremist groups, and this student rights group gets support from CAIR… so they must be extremists? Or is it that their case is undermined by the fact that they lose their rights to free religious expression because they have someone standing up for their rights that also supports Hamas? Can someone lose their First Amendment rights of free expression just because they have radicals for friends? Can someone’s argument be worse by virtue of the company they keep?