SPLC makes reparations for its own defamation and inaccurate framing of a religious group
Justice has arrived as the Southern Poverty Law Center now is paying for its wrongful characterization of Maajid Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation. It recently agreed to pay $3.375 million for including Nawaz inaccurately in its 2016 “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim extremists.”
It is ironic that the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, a renowned nemesis of white supremacy, has now made reparations for its own defamation and inaccurate framing of a religious group.
Forty years after its founding, the same SPLC that took down the Ku Klux Klan is coming to terms with how it blindly grouped together Muslims and Islamists — the supremacist totalitarian ideology masquerading as Islam.
In the now-deleted list of 15 “anti Muslim” persons there were important public intellectuals with deep, critically valuable knowledge of radical Islam. The inclusion of Nawaz, Muslim founder of the Quilliam Foundation,came as a singular shock.
The settlement only reduces the sting, but does not erase it.
Nawaz was labelled “anti-Muslim” despite his years devoted to combating radicalization in Muslim communities and challenging Islamism. Ironically when Nawaz was a full dues-paying member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir — the largest Islamist movement in Britain — he didn’t make the center’s radar.
Challenged in 2016 on its decision to include Nawaz by the Templeton Foundation, patron donor of Quilliam, the SPLC dug in its heels, rather than reflecting on its paradoxical position, revealing pro-Islamist sympathies.
In 2012, the SPLC was seeking insights from the Muslim Public Affairs Council via its president Salem Al Marayati, along with Muslim lawyer and playwright Wajahat Ali. The SPLC was immersed in the Islamist narrative that America’s Muslims are under siege.
Ali authored the 2011 “Fear Incorporated: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” that critics identified as little more than a map to defund informed critics of Islamism.