The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU) announced it would no longer allow the publication of its own news and opinion websites on its website, the first time that has happened in Texas.
The announcement came on Monday night after the ACLU of Texas filed a lawsuit against the University of Texas System, claiming that the school’s “vitriolic” and “extremist” anti-Islam policies and the publication and distribution of its publications and online resources have caused a “systemwide chill” and created a “pervasive and hostile environment” for Muslims in the state.
“As a society, we need to reject any suggestion that we are ‘going soft’ on radical Islam or that our values are in danger,” said ACLU of Austin Director and Executive Director, Sarah Warbelow.
“It is time to start acting like a real democracy.
And we’re doing it by changing the rules of the road.”
The ACLU of America said in a statement that it is “rejecting the University’s false and dangerous assertion that its ‘vitriolically biased’ coverage is not harmful to free speech.”
It’s not the firsttime that the ACLU has faced backlash over its “voxic” rhetoric against Islam.
In January, the ACLU and other civil liberties groups sued the University for defamation after the university’s president, Mark Schlissel, used the word “Islamophobia” in a speech to the American Civil Rights Union, a federal civil rights organization.
He later apologized.
Schlissel also has faced a backlash over his use of the word in a recent speech to members of Congress.
“I was not referring to a specific religion or ethnicity or race, but to a broader cultural and political view,” he said, using the same term that he used during his speech in Congress.
“That is why I am proud to be an American.”
Earlier this month, the Department of Justice sued the ACLU over a lawsuit it filed against Texas’ public universities alleging that they violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by promoting hate speech and violating their obligations to ensure free speech.
The complaint seeks $100 million in damages and $1.5 million in attorney fees.