Just in case you’re still under the impression that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a politically neutral nonprofit with an admirable civil-rights track record—instead of an ideological power player of the left devoted to branding as a “hate” promoter anyone whose views it deems incorrect– take a look at the SPLC’s latest “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.”
The SPLC prepared the list of 15 people to be ostracized as extremist in conjunction with three other left-leaning groups: ex-conservative David Brock’s Media Matters for America, the Center for New Community, and ReThink Media.
The new SPLC blacklist includes: Daniel Pipes, holder of a Ph.D. in Islamic history from Harvard, a man who reads both modern and classical Arabic, who studied in Egypt, and who has taught at Harvard and the University of Chicago; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a celebrated author, a former member of the Dutch parliament and crusader against female genital mutilation; Maajid Nawaz, a British Muslim reformist who was held as a political prisoner in Egypt; former Defense Department official Frank Gaffney; Radical Son author David Horowitz; attorney and free-speech advocate Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center; provocatrix Pamela Geller; former PLO member and Muslim reformist Walid Shoebat, among others….
The main offense of Pipes and Hirsi Ali seems to be the unforgiveable sin of being simultaneously well-informed about the actual state of the Muslim world and coolly critical of many of its leaders, institutions, and ideologies. Not everyone on the SPLC list is an Islamic scholar — but to rank any of them alongside Nazis, Klansmen, and those who encourage and do violence in the name of an extremist ideology? Preposterous. Many of those smeared by the SPLC have themselves been the targets of extremist violence — Hirsi Ali has twice been made a refugee by Islamic extremism, and U.S.-based jihadis have actively plotted to murder Geller. About those violent extremists, the SPLC is strangely circumspect.
Even the mainstream media, which usually tag along with every SPLC “extremist” designation, have been perturbed by this latest list. From Yahoo News:
But Nawaz’s placement came as a shock to his supporters.
Nawaz, a liberal Muslim reformer, rose to prominence in part because of his fascinating biography. In his youth, he was arrested in Egypt for his membership in a banned Islamist group. Amnesty International labeled him a “prisoner of conscience.” This led to his gradual embrace of democratic values and disavowal of extremism….
As evidence of his alleged anti-Muslim extremism, the SPLC report cites an op-ed he wrote for the Daily Mail arguing that the veil should be barred in schools, a cartoon he tweeted of the Prophet Muhammad (which some Muslims consider blasphemous) and his trip to a strip club during a bachelor party (which seems irrelevant to the topic at hand).
For us here at the IWF, Hirsi Ali’s inclusion on the list especially distressing. We gave her our 2014 Woman of Valor award for her tireless international battles for women’s rights, especially in repressive Muslim societies such as her native Somalia, where she was subjected to genital mutilation at age 5 and has received death threats from jihadists for nearly 20 years.
But as we were saying, if you still believe that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a politically neutral nonprofit, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn….