A recent settlement between the Southern Poverty Law Center and Maajid Nawaz and his group, the Quilliam Foundation, a think tank that focuses on counter-extremism in Islam, has inspired approximately 60 groups to potentially take legal action for being falsely named as hate groups.
In 2016, the SPLC published a “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” listing Maajid Nawaz, a practicing Muslim who advocates for intercommunity reform, as extremist. On June 18, 2018, the SPLC president, Richard Cohen published an apology to Nawaz and Quilliam. The “Field Guide” was taken down in 2016.
Many of the “hate groups” listed by the SPLC actually do not encourage hate or violence, but disagree with left-wing political views, such as naming Family Research Council for their support of traditional marriage. As for if the Family Research Council plans on taking action against the Southern Poverty Law Center, “We are reviewing all our legal options,” spokesman J.P. Duffy told PJ Media.
“It’s appalling and offensive for the Southern Poverty Law Center to compare peaceful organizations which condemn violence and racism with violent and racist groups just because it disagrees with their views,” said Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, another group that was named by the SPLC. He continued, “That’s what SPLC did in the case of Quilliam and its founder Maajid Nawaz, and that’s what it has done with ADF and numerous other organizations and individuals.”]
The settlement between the Southern Poverty Law Center totalled to about $3,375,000. In addition to the money, SPLC President Richard Cohen also published a public apology to Nawaz, Quilliam, and SPLC readers, which can be watched here.
[Image via screengrab]