The department’s “civil rights lawyers are top of the line — I say this with utter honesty — I know they can come up with a way” to redefine criticism as discrimination, said Sahar Aziz, a female Egyptian-American lawyer who spoke at the event.
President Barack Obama’s top civil rights official repeatedly declined to support religious free speech during a July 27 congressional hearing, despite repeated questioning from Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks, who chairs the House’s constitution subcommittee.
Tom Perez, the progressive who runs the Justice Department’s civil rights office, refused to answer the questions posed by Franks.
“Will you tell us… that this administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?” Frank asked four times.
Perez refused to answer, saying “it is a hard question, in the sense that when you make threats against someone.” Perez then suggested he would respond to draft legislation from the committee, but again refused to answer Frank’s question about free speech rights.
Franks’ questions were prompted by an October 2011 Daily Caller report, which described a D.C. meeting between Perez and hardcore Islamists, including Mohamed Magid, the Sudan-born, Saudi-trained head of the Islamic Society of North America.
At the end of the public meeting, Perez called more meetings with the Islamists, even though he had watched while Magid called for legal punishment of people who criticize Islamic texts that call for violence against non-Muslims and for the subordination of women to men.