The Southern Poverty Law Center is demonising ex-Muslims

‘The intellectual confusion and moral paralysis plaguing the Western Left around the religion of Islam has done much to add credibility to the Western Right. Embodying the now-common approach of elevating politics over principle, the Southern Poverty Law Center has accused the ex-Muslim atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz of ?anti-Muslim extremism?.’

How ridiculous.

-Council of Ex-Muslims of New Zealand?FB page

We live In a bizarre world where ex-Muslims can be accused of extremism ?because they are critical of Islam. ?I guess they had to call them extremists because it’s incredibly difficult to ?accuse a person of racism if they are the same race as you. ?Democrats in America have the same problem when black people leave the political reservation to become Republicans. ?Instead of respecting the fact that they have a different opinion, they instead use racist terms like “he is an Uncle Tom.” ?The SPLC appear to have taken a leaf out of the Democrat handbook and are demonising?ex-Muslims and Muslim reformers by publishing a detailed hit list of 15 of these ?so-called “extremists.”


…In the recently issued report Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists, the SPLC claims?to have identified 15 ?anti-Muslim extremists? who it believes are represented too often in mainstream media.

These ?extremists?, the SPLC contends, spread ?baseless and damaging lies?

…The Field Guide aims to arm journalists with information so that they may challenge the ?hateful rhetoric and misinformation? of the extremists, or better yet, ?deny them a public platform altogether.?

… the SPLC paints its targets with a broad, clumsy brush. ?Those profiled range from pundits who believe that radicals have ?infiltrated the CIA, FBI, Pentagon, and State Department? to activists who offer compassionate, empathetic, and exceedingly balanced views on the faith. The latter is exemplified by the Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz, who spent his formative years in the service of an Islamist organization working to re-establish a global caliphate. After disavowing his former associates, he has spent the past decade working to encourage reform and secularization in Muslim countries and communities.

Nearly every charge against him in the report is patently absurd. His act of solidarity with students who wore a benign cartoon of Prophet Muhammad on a t-shirt is a cited as a qualification for his ?anti-Muslim extremism?.

?For this conciliatory and progressive gesture, he earned the ire of the Muslim community, condemnation by ?liberals?, and death threats by fanatics. It appears that the SPLC now polices acts considered blasphemous as ?anti-Muslim extremism?

If mere tweeting of cartoons is tantamount to bigotry, one wonders how they would judge the actions of the actual cartoonists. Perhaps the SPLC list should include the creators of the show South Park for their depictions of Jesus and Mohammed. In the same vein, Andres Serrano?s ?Piss Christ? surely also qualifies him as an anti-Christian ?extremist?…

But I won?t be holding my breath…In the eyes of some my fellow liberals, blasphemy is bigotry only when Islam is the target.

…To the politically-motivated, it is of the utmost importance that the ?narrative? around the religion of Islam remain undisturbed by critical voices. The good word has already been revealed: The ideology of Islam is, and always will be, entirely peaceful and good. The effect it has on its believers is, and always will be, entirely peaceful and good. When the faithful act in grotesque ways, the blame can only be placed on politics, poverty, or disposition. The mandates of the religion itself are beyond reproach, even by former or current Muslims.

The mandates of the religion itself are beyond reproach, even by former or current Muslims. Both actual violent extremists and reformers present a problem to this narrative: They claim that belief has a relation to the behavior.

…Consistently, the report conflates criticism or dislike of the religion as ?hate? against its believers ? effectively granting this particular religion a privilege no other ideology maintains.

…Nawaz and Hirsi Ali, in particular, have been targeted by fatwas and threatened with violence for their advocacy by actual extremists ? those who do more than merely print opinions SPLC doesn?t like. No doubt that Nawaz and Ali?s inclusion in this list will subject them to more threats than ever before.

…This report is an example of the careless, reactionary response by the American media (on both the right and the left) to the challenge posed by this religion. In the past, the Southern Poverty Law Center has built a reputation among progressives for identifying and monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups. With this report, it has tarnished its reputation and joined the ranks of the hate-mongers it purports to combat.

As critics of Islam are hunted by Muslim fanatics around the world, I hope we will remember the courage and sacrifice of those willing to speak out, and the role played by unscrupulous detractors painting targets on their backs.