Site falsely claimed American-Muslim comedian and radio host is a terrorist mastermind
Washington, DC – Today, American Muslim radio host and comedian Dean Obeidallah filed a defamation lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against the publishers of The Daily Stormer, a Neo-Nazi and white supremacist website, including its founder, Andrew Anglin, in response to their publication of false and defamatory statements.
The complaint alleges that:
- In June 2017, The Daily Stormer published an article falsely claiming that Mr. Obeidallah is the “mastermind” behind the bombing of a concert in Manchester, United Kingdom in May of this year. The article includes fabricated images, purportedly captured from Mr. Obeidallah’s Twitter account, to deceive readers into believing that Mr. Obeidallah has claimed responsibility for the bombing and professed support for other terrorist attacks.
- The article has resulted in threats of violence and death against Mr. Obeidallah.
- The Daily Stormer and Andrew Anglin have failed to respond to requests to remove the article and end the violent, threatening comments the article has provoked.
Mr. Obeidallah is one of the nation’s best known American Muslim comedians and is also a political commentator. He hosts the national daily radio program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” on SiriusXM radio, writes weekly for The Daily Beast and CNN.com’s Opinion Section, and can be seen frequently in the national media discussing contemporary political issues.
“No one deserves to be defamed and threatened online by a racist neo-Nazi mob simply for expressing ideas and beliefs,” said Mr. Obeidallah. “I’m hopeful that this lawsuit will ensure that others are not victimized by these types of blatant lies and harassment.”
Mr. Anglin is the well-known publisher of The Daily Stormer, which holds itself out as a journalistic news organization that is willing to do “the job other news websites won’t do” and that caters to the Neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements. Through articles like the one about Mr. Obeidallah, Mr. Anglin has cultivated an online community that routinely threatens and seeks to intimidate religious and racial minorities.
“The Daily Stormer has published false information and fabricated evidence in its effort to mislead its readers and promote anti-Muslim sentiment,” said Johnathan Smith, legal director of Muslim Advocates. “Knowingly publishing false information in order to target and silence those with whom you disagree is unlawful and unacceptable, and publishers like Andrew Anglin need to be held accountable.”
The complaint alleges that The Daily Stormer has a long history and pattern of using defamatory and hateful language against individuals, including the malicious fabrication of stories.
Johnathan Smith, Sirine Shebaya, and Juvaria Khan of Muslim Advocates; Abid Qureshi and Christopher Fawal of Latham & Watkins LLP; and Subodh Chanda and Donald Screen of The Chandra Law Firm LLC, represent Mr. Obeidallah.
Click here to read the complaint.
Click here to listen to an MP3 recording of a press call announcing the lawsuit.
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.