CAIR’s Suit Accuses Lawyer of Infringement and Vow to ‘Drive the Muslims Crazy’
Posted Jan 7, 2011 7:31 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Michigan lawyer who sought to incorporate “CAIR Michigan Inc.” is facing a trademark infringement lawsuit that claims she is “stoking Islamophobia” on her website.
The suit by the Council on American-Islamic Relations alleges that the articles of incorporation filed by Southland lawyer Debbie Schlussel also registered 17 assumed names, including the "Council on American-Islamic Relations," the Detroit Free Press reports. According to the suit, filed in Detroit federal court, Schlussel told followers on her website that the intent was “to drive the Muslims crazy.”
Schlussel says she filed the paperwork on behalf of a client, and CAIR gave up its right to the name because it failed to file required reports with the state. CAIR’s lawyer, Gadeir Abbas, counters that the paperwork has no relevance to a trademark claim.
Schlussel is appealing for donations on her website to help her legal defense; credit cards are accepted. “Since the CAIR Action Network is suing me personally, my law firm, and this website, it is clear that this is all about—and ONLY about—silencing me and my First Amendment speech rights and harming my law practice,” she writes. “I look forward to defending myself and fighting this in court.”
The Detroit News also has coverage.