Across the Nation, one community at a time, lawfare is used as a strategy by Islamic communities to force all into acceptance of their perceived religious right, Sharia Law.
A term comprised of the words law and warfare, lawfare is a form of legal warfare consisting of using an affected community’s legal system against its residents, such as by damaging or delegitimizing them, tying up their time or attempting to win a public relations victory, the perception Islam is entitled to exist outside of its occupied nation’s legal system.
Residents of a central Virginia Community – Hoehns Lakeveiw Farms – located in Henrico County Virginia have described their lawfare experience as a ‘shot gun blast’ of legal assault intended to bypass local, state and federal laws and regulation. In fact, since 2011 a battle between preservation of legacy property rights and expansion of the Islamic Center of Richmond (ICR) has occurred. This battle is not about freedom to worship protected under the First Amendment or federal laws granting exemption waivers from local land zoning laws. Instead it is about abusing courts with the strategy of lawfare to lay claim to property and property rights through civil disputes, harassment and intimidation.
Specific to Henrico County, the Islamic Center of Richmond first used their strategy of lawfare to solicit support from the Department of Justice to file a suit against the County, itself. Inspired by a successful outcome, ICR next established a caliphate – home base location – in the community of Glen Allen’s Hungary Road corridor.
Acquiring properties which consist of a former greenhouse operation and residential home, those who occupy these sites have chosen to participate in activities which appear to be more based on an ideology of Islamic entitlement – not theology: an ideology supported by deception, lies, corruption and violence. While there is a religious leader, core leadership is comprised of leadership of Mosques north of the James who regularly meet at the Hungary Road site. Meeting notes released through a court proceeding revealed ICR’s core leadership formatted agreed upon denial of their activities; and after notifying overall membership, issue formal written notice to Henrico County’s law enforcement.
Simply put, while community residents based on their experiences no longer expect civility or truthfulness from those associated with the Mosque site, they do expect better of those associated with their local government. Nevertheless, County leadership has consistently avoided confronting the Islamic community excusing their failure of enforcement as a commitment to RLUIPA, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.
On the other hand, in the words of VA House of Delegates representative Chris Peace, “protecting religious freedom does not mean permitting people to violate the law in the name of religious freedom. Religious freedom remains freedom to believe, but not a freedom to act in violation of facially neutral laws. For many years people defended racist laws as being required by their religion. But religion should not grant one the right to ignore the law. Jefferson advised us that if a neutral law required action that violated a person’s religious belief that person had to abide by the law. We are a nation of laws after all.”
Concerned for the welfare of a nearby community, Peace sponsored an antiSLAPP amendment. Filed by a spokesperson for the Hungary Road Mosque against a ‘dominate landowner’ and others, such civil complaints are identified to be a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Having identified many jurisdictions to have made such lawsuits illegal on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech, the Virginia General Assembly enact legislation effective July 1, 2016 which prohibits further use of this strategy as a form of Islamic lawfare.
Grateful for legislators who do seek to protect their community, residents of one central Virginia community presently recommend to ALL to
- Selectively use rights to vote to ensure the election of people who value constitutional rights.
- Lobby for agency functions that monitor enforcement of local government plan of development agreements, proffers and/or compliance of VA Code requirements – there is presently such a function for those who violate ‘fair housing’ laws.
- Lobby for land use processes that require ‘clear title’ of properties prior to approval for land use development.
- Ensure there is a ‘next level’ of law enforcement available when local structures fail to prevent ‘breaches of peace’ – no person should receive written notice from governmental representatives that he/she can defend his/her own rights.
- Become involved in supporting much needed ‘anti-SLAPP nation-wide legislation which will enable the ability to resolve lawsuits intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.
- And, perhaps more importantly, urge all to make a choice to ‘stand with’ one such affected community – GoFundMe – Hoehns Lakeview Farms.
As a ‘dominate landowner’ who remains entangled in the Islamic strategy of lawfare, Sylvia Hoehns Wright invites all to follow her community’s ‘fight for their rights’ by joining Facebook group, I stand with Hoehns Lakeview Farms’ or reviewing updates posted to the GoFundMe – Hoehns Lakeview Farms.