The infamous neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer, may soon face a justifiable extinction after a federal judge today ruled that it must pay $4.1 million in a defamation suit brought against the extremist, white supremacist publisher by SiriusXM radio host Dean Obeidallah.
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Obeidallah brought legal action against the web site and its founder, Andrew Anglin, back in August of 2017 after The Daily Stormer published an article that accused the satellite radio host of being a terrorist.
According to a report on the Law & Crime web site, the article — titled ”Dean Obeidallah, Mastermind Behind Manchester Bombing, Calls on Trump to Declare Whites the Real Terrorists” — defamed Obeidallah by falsely claiming that he “planned and executed the horrific terrorist attack that took place at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, United Kingdom” in 2017.
The white nationalist publication also said purposefully and erroneously claimed that Obeidallah belonged to ISIS and was a “confessed terrorist wanted by Europol, MI-5, Interpol and a litany of other international authorities.”
Once the article was published Obeidallah began receiving numerous death threats from Daily Storm readers and began to fear for his life.
Obeidallah only sued the web site and its owner after requesting that The Daily Stormer delete the article immediately after it was published. Once two months had gone by without any response or action, he resorted to legal methods to force the defamatory story’s removal.
The SiriusXM host and comedian was practically assured of a victory when Anglin — who has been in hiding at an undisclosed location possibly outside of the United States for years — did not show up to contest the lawsuit.
Obeidallah reacted to the news with the following statement:
“American Muslims should be able to take part in public life without being threatened or attacked. This ruling sends a clear message that Muslim voices will not be silenced by threats and hate.”
He also discussed the size of the judgment against the neo-Nazi propaganda outlet in remarks to The Daily Beast.
“The judge apparently found what they did so atrocious he gave them the most he could in punitive damages,” said Obeidallah.
The Muslim comedian also vowed not to keep any of the money he may receive from the judgment, instead promising that he would donate it to anti-hate and anti-discrimination groups.
“This was never about collecting money. If I collect a penny from the Nazis, I’m not going to keep their money. I’m going to give it to organizations that fight hate and bigotry, the very groups Nazis despise.”
With Anglin still in hiding, collecting even a small portion of the judgment may prove difficult. It remains to be seen whether federal marshalls will be able to track the neo-Nazi leader down in order to enforce the judge’s ruling.
In the meantime, however, human rights organizations are jubilant over the victory.
A senior staff attorney for Muslim Advocates, the organization that helped Obeidallah file his suit against the web site described the court’s ruling as a cautionary tale for anyone considering engaging in hate speech.
“We live in a climate where people feel emboldened to convey their bigoted views against marginalized communities including American Muslims,” Khan said. “This case is a very significant victory. We’re very proud of our client Dean for standing up and showing that violence and bigotry will not be tolerated.”
Obeidallah himself celebrated the victory with a defiant warning to bigots everywhere.
“The idea is about sending a message: if you attack these groups you despise, in my case Muslims, or Jews, or the LGBT community, or African-Americans, we are not going to cower,” he said.
“We’re going to hold you accountable by going to the federal courts and suing you. And we’re going to win that judgement against you.”
Score one more Nazi defeat for the good guys.
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