“Maajid Nawaz, a practicing Muslim and prominent Islamic reformer, threatened legal action over his inclusion”
In recent years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has become little more than a tool the progressive left uses to label people and organizations as promoters of hate. Their website even included a list of people the group claimed were anti-Muslim extremists.
The list was absurd, as it included the pro-woman Muslim reformer Ayaan Hirsi-Ali and even Dr. Ben Carson, although Legal Insurrection had something to say about that: Legal Insurrection gets results: Ben Carson taken off SPLC “Extremist” List
Now another person on the list has taken action which actually resulted in its removal.
Jack Crowe writes at National Review:
Southern Poverty Law Center Quietly Deleted List of ‘Anti-Muslim’ Extremists After Legal Threat
The Southern Poverty Law Center has removed the “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists” from their website after attorneys for Maajid Nawaz, a practicing Muslim and prominent Islamic reformer, threatened legal action over his inclusion on the list.
The report, which had been active on the SPLC’s website since it was published in December 2016, was intended to serve as a resource for journalists to identify promoters of hateful propaganda; but it included a number of liberal reformers such as Nawaz, a former Islamic extremist who has since dedicated his life to combating the hateful ideology.
“A shocking number of these extremists are seen regularly on television news programs and quoted in the pages of our leading newspapers. There, they routinely espouse a wide range of utter falsehoods, all designed to make Muslims appear as bloodthirsty terrorists or people intent on undermining American constitutional freedoms. More often than not, these claims go uncontested,” the report, which still exists in PDF form, reads.
Nawaz, who founded the anti-extremist think tank Quilliam, said during a Wednesday night appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, a popular podcast hosted by comedian Joe Rogan, that the report was removed from the SPLC website under legal threat sometime in the last two days.
Professor Jacobson wrote about the true nature of the SPLC list in June of 2017:
Southern Poverty Law Center “extremist” lists used “to silence speech and speakers”
Politico magazine has a very detailed article on the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), for which I was interviewed, Has a Civil Rights Stalwart Lost Its Way?.
The article, written by Ben Schreckinger, addresses several aspects of the SPLC, including its massive accumulation of wealth seemingly beyond its needs. But much of the focus is on SPLC’s aggressive politics and use of “hate” and “extremist” lists:
…. there are new questions arising around a charge that has dogged the group for years: that the SPLC is overplaying its hand, becoming more of a partisan progressive hit operation than a civil rights watchdog. Critics say the group abuses its position as an arbiter of hatred by labeling legitimate players “hate groups” and “extremists” to keep the attention of its liberal donors and grind a political ax….
The SPLC’s hate group and extremist labels are effective. Groups slapped with them have lost funding, been targeted by activists and generally been banished from mainstream legitimacy. This makes SPLC the de facto cop in this realm of American politics, with all the friction that kind of policing engenders…
The SPLC’s leaders say they are aware of the various critiques lodged against them but have no plans to change their approach….
I was interviewed on the issue of the SPLC hate and extremist lists. That is a topic I have written about extensively, particularly in the earlier years of Legal Insurrection, including these posts, among many:
- Southern Poverty Law Center Completes Its Descent Into Madness (regarding SPLC attack on Sarah Palin)
- Confirmed – SPLC Exaggerated About Klan In Rhode Island
- Neo-Nazis in Rhode Island? SPLC exaggerates again
- SPLC’s hatewatch gives cover to hate
- SPLC Demonizes Supporters of Traditional Marriage
- Southern Poverty Law Center Still Peddling Lie That Giffords Shooter Was Right-Winger
Here is the section of the Politico article in which I am quoted:
William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell and critic of the SPLC, says the group has wrapped itself in the mantle of the civil rights struggle to engage in partisan political crusading. “Time and again, I see the SPLC using the reputation it gained decades ago fighting the Klan as a tool to bludgeon mainstream politically conservative opponents,” he says. “For groups that do not threaten violence, the use of SPLC ‘hate group’ or ‘extremist’ designations frequently are exploited as an excuse to silence speech and speakers,” Jacobson adds. “It taints not only the group or person, but others who associate with them.”
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