Sidney Elyea claims free speech right to slag on Muslims
Sometimes this whole defense-of-free-speech thing is darned annoying. Here we are, for goodness sakes, watching some guy from Waite Park named Sidney Elyea saying he's well within his constitutional rights to post flyers on utility polls outside a St. Cloud mosque depicting Allah boffing animals.
Photo: Ranoush Free speech or hate speech, that's the question
Leaving aside his motivations -- he told investigators Muslims are anti-Christian -- it's been made pretty clear that he's a got a good 1st Amendment case. But that hasn't stopped St. Cloud City Attorney Matt Staehling from trying to find some way to go after Elyea.
Today in an administrative hearing he's going to find out if he can prosecute Elyea for violating the city's ordinance against posting items on city poles without permission.
Elyea's lawer, Ryan Garry, tells the St. Cloud Times that if Elyea had posted signs for a garage sale or a lost kitten, his client wouldn't be being targeted by the city attorney. (Elyea told investigators that Muslims are "anti-Christian" and that he found the images online and thought it would be "cool" to post them on utility poles.)
"I'm sure that is what they will argue; I think we have evidence to controvert that," Staehling told the paper.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations has condemned as Elyea's actions as hate speech. And his anti-Muslim actions are part of a growing resentment of Muslims in the suburbs. CAIR successfully lobbied the U.S. Department of Education to look into issues including students starting an "I hate the Somalians at Tech High" Facebook page.
Ever wonder where some pf those folks get their ideas about Islam? Some of them probably believe the fulminations of Pastor Dennis Campbell of Granite City Baptist Church-Academy, or read this ad that recently ran in the St. Cloud Times:
"How do Moslems seek to take control of a nation?" The ad asks. "Moslems seek to influence a nation by immigration, reproduction, education, the government, illegal drugs, and by supporting the gay agenda."
"What happens when Moslems take over a nation? They will destroy the constitution and force the Moslem religion on the society, take freedom of religion away, and they will persecute all other religions."
Christians, of course, would never do such a thing.