In November, a writer for the American Thinker called to ask for my recollections about covering the trials and tribulations of what is often described as the largest terrorist fundraising operation in U.S. history. It hadn't occurred to me, but the 10-year anniversary of the "Holy Land Foundation Five" convictions in a Dallas federal courtroom has unexpectedly arrived.
The call from the American Thinker triggered even older memories related to the Holy Land Foundation case, and of the related case against Infocom Corporation: I had become one of the first U.S. targets of Islamist "lawfare," a term reflecting the tactic of filing high-expense civil litigation to silence and delegitimize opponents. I had been placed on a Muslim community "blacklist" and labeled a Muslim-hater for doing my job. I remembered feeling shocked and betrayed by having seen, for the first time up close and personal, how a pressure campaign by criminal suspects could, like a paper cup, collapse the journalistic ideal of boldly defiant truth-telling.