Archive for the ‘Southern Poverty Law Center’ Category

Hatewatch Headlines 7/10/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

USA Today: The state of hate in America.

New York Times: New York City is a lonely place to be young and black.

The Intercept: Facebooks tough-on-terror-talk overlooks white-extremists.

VOA News: How to improve reporting of hate crimes

New York Magazine: Alt-right figurehead and presidential advisor Steve Bannon is back in his bosss good graces.

New York Times: Counterprotesters outnumbered Klan members 20-to-1 in a Charlottesville, Virginia, weekend rally.

Right Wing Watch: The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage promises to target Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Commission.

Wired: Bad actors like neo-Nazi Andrew weev Auernheimerconflate doxing with journalism.

CNET: Does exposure to Internet hate force your body into survival mode?

Think Progress: An anti-transgender campaign fails for a second year in a row in the State of Washington.

Raw Story: Trump supporter threatens Muslims with billions of camel jockey-piercing rounds of ammo.

Salon: Donald Trump is the perfect teaching tool for White Privilege 101.

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Hatewatch Headlines 7/10/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

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Hatewatch Headlines 7/6/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

Huffington Post:Louisiana Republican congressman under fire for recording insensitive political video inside Nazi gas chambers at Auschwitz.

Raw Story: Journalist who exposed the racist troll behind the Trump vs. CNN GIFdeluged with death threats.

Associated Press:U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum exceeds i$250,000 goal to digitize more than 200 diaries from Holocaust victims and survivors.

Inside Higher Ed:University of Virginia president urges students to avoid a KKK rally planned Saturday to oppose removal of a statute of Robert E. Lee.

Daily News: Connecticut man vandalizes elementary school to frame liberals.

Daily Beast: Go Daddy defends providingservices to neo-Nazi and white nationalist sites based on freedom of speech.

Forward:Rapper Kodak Black shows up at black supremacy church in Florida.

Washington Post: Alook at one of DonaldTrump’s favorite newsnetworks, and it ain’t Fox.

KMGH-Denver Channel: A sketch of AdolfHitler surrounded by swastikas taped to a drive-up window at a Taco Bell in Parker, Colorado.

Hudson Valley Post: New York State Police arrest an 18-year-old man on hate crime and burglary charges related to anti-Semitic graffiti and damage at a Jewish youth camp.

Atlantic: What happens when theres an attempt to compress hatred into a joke?

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Silencing the silencers – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Frustrated by its inability to win elections, the left is attempting to silence opponents through intimidation, either in the streets or in the courts.

The latest example is the hijacking of Guidestar USA by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Guidestar is a database of more than two million nonprofit and non-governmental (NGO) organizations. Its considered the foremost authority on nonprofits, and had a self-avowed reputation for remaining neutral.

That changed when a left wing activist, Jacob Harold, came aboard in 2012. Mr. Harold, whose bio boasts of donating to the Obama campaign, extensive activism on behalf of climate change groups, and hosting a NARAL Pro-Choice D.C. mens event, tweeted a photo of himself holding a sign protesting President Trump at the radical Womens March in January.

Apart from Vermont ice cream magnates Ben and Jerry, it might be hard to find a more radically leftist major CEO. So its no wonder that Mr. Harold welcomed the Southern Poverty Law Center as an authority on hate groups. Using SPLCs hate map as a resource, Guidestar smeared 46 organizations, many of them Christian, as hate groups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a long history of abusing nonprofits and individuals with whom they disagree. They tar innocent people and may have inspired at least two terrorist incidents. The SPLCs hate map lumps Christian and conservative organizations with neo-Nazis, skinheads and other violence-prone groups. The most common offenses? Failing to salute the brave new world of sexual anarchy or unlimited illegal immigration.

On Aug. 15, 2012, a disturbed young man, Floyd Corkins II, who later told the FBI that he had been inspired by the SPLCs hate map, attempted to commit mass murder at the D.C.-based Family Research Council. He had a knapsack full of extra rounds and Chick-fil-A sandwiches that he had planned to stuff into the mouths of his victims. Stopped by Leo Johnson, a courageous guard who was shot while subduing him, Corkins became the first person in U.S. history to be convicted under Washington, D.C. law of domestic terrorism.

On June 14, Bernie Sanders follower James T. Hodgkinson, who had liked the Southern Poverty Law Center on Facebook, shot up Republican congressmen and their staffs at a baseball practice in Alexandria, critically wounding Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and injuring four others. The Louisiana congressman had been singled out by the SPLC for an alleged connection to a white power group, a charge he denies.

Earlier this month, Guidestar began adding the Southern Poverty Law Centers hate group labels to 46 nonprofits. Last week, Guidestar, and the SPLC by implication, began getting major pushback.

On June 21, a group of 41 Christian and conservative leaders, including former Attorney General Edwin Meese, signed a letter to Guidestar demanding deletion of the defaming labels, which Guidestar did sort of. The labels were removed but the damage was done and the information is available upon request.

Next, Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal foundation, filed a defamation lawsuit on June 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Guidestar for posting a label on Liberty Counsels Guidestar page describing it as an SPLC-designated hate group.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which built its reputation years ago by monitoring the Ku Klux Klan and other violent groups, still raises money by the boatload with its scare tactics and has a $300 million endowment. That allows it to do things like send a dozen attorneys to New Jersey, where a jury under a liberal judge in a kangaroo court in 2015 found a small Jewish group, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) guilty of consumer fraud for directing people to counselors who aid people in overcoming unwanted same-sex desires.

The Southern Poverty Law Center also listed former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson in the hate category for his stances on marriage and biblical morality before public outrage made them withdraw the label.

Three years ago, the F.B.I. dropped the Southern Poverty Law Center as a source for identifying hate groups. In March 2016, the U.S. Justice Department accused the Southern Poverty Law Center attorneys of lack of professionalism and misconduct for falsely characterizing the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Immigration Reform Law Institute as hate groups.

Maajid Nawaz, a moderate Muslim who opposes iihad extremism, says he is also suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for defaming him and his organization, the London-based Quilliam Foundation.

If there is still doubt as to the Southern Poverty Law Centers motives, it was laid to rest in an interview with SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok, who said that his groups hate group criteria have nothing to do with criminality or violence or any kind of guess were making about this group could be dangerous. Its strictly ideological.

Mr. Potok is also on video stating, Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes and so on. I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.

And the Southern Poverty Law Center still has a shred of credibility? Sure they do. Ask any mainstream journalist.

Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.

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Southern Poverty Law Center Wants to Censor Google Search Results on Muslims – FrontPage Magazine

Southern Poverty Law Center Wants to Censor Google Search Results on Muslims
FrontPage Magazine
Last October, the Southern Poverty Law Center called British author and activist Maajid Nawaz, 39, part of the 'ex-radical' circuit of former Islamists who use that experience to savage Islam. During a recent appearance on Bill Maher's show, Nawaz …

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Southern Poverty Law Center Wants to Censor Google Search Results on Muslims – FrontPage Magazine

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Oregon Indictment Guaranteed to Enflame Patriot Paranoia – Southern Poverty Law Center

The new theme-card is this weeks indictment of an FBI agent a member of the bureaus elite Hostage Rescue Team who is accused of an attempted cover-up during last years fatal shooting of an occupier at an Oregon wildlife refuge.

In a five-count indictment unsealed Wednesday in Portland, W. Joseph Astarita is accused of three counts of making false statements lying to supervisors and two additional counts of obstruction of justice.

For an extremist movement whose bread-and-butter is conspiracy theories about governmental violence, overreach and deception, this case is like a lottery windfall, Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, told Hatewatch.

The recent indictment of an FBI agent for lying will fuel fair-right conspiracy theories over the justified shooting of antigovernment activist LaVoy Finicum, seen here during the occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. (AP Images/Rick Bowmer)

Astarita, a 40-year-old FBI veteran, was part of its specially trained hostage rescue squad deployed early last year to Oregons Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during the illegal, armed takeover of the federal preserve by Ammon and Ryan Bundy and assorted militia and antigovernment extremists.

The Oregon siege came two years after an earlier standoff at Bunkerville, Nevada, involving the Bundys and their father, Cliven Bundy, and assorted militia players. They subsequently were charged with pointing firearms at federal agents involved in a failed attempt in April 2014 to roundup Bundys cattle for nonpayment of federal grazing fees.

During the 2016 siege in Oregon, occupier Robert LaVoy Finicum of Nevada was fatally shot by Oregon State Police as they and FBI agents attempted to stop three vehicles and arrest their occupants driving away from the refuge.

His death caught on FBI surveillance video — almost immediately seemed to further galvanize factions inradical right, antigovernment circles.

Astarita is accused of firing two shots that both missed as Finicumgot out of his truck and attempted to reach for a gun after plowing the vehicle into a snow bank at the police roadblock.

After the shooting, the indictment alleges Astarita lied to three FBI supervisors and failed to disclose that he fired his weapon to the FBIs Shooting Response Team.

The indictment was returned after an 18-month long investigation by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice working with detectives from the Deschutes County, Oregon Sheriffs Office.

Billy J. Williams, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, said the alleged cover-up doesnt call into question earlier investigative findings that Oregon State Police were fully justified in using deadly force against Finicum.

But already theres evidence that antigovernment, militia extremists arent buying that official U.S. government line and, instead, are pointing to the Finicum shooting and itsalleged cover-up as examples of what they call federal government excesses and corruption.

What did I tell you? Washington state militia organizer Gavin Seimposted on Facebook after the indictment was announced. He disputed claims by the FBI and the Oregon State Police that the shooting of Finicum was justified.

The diversion indictment is not about justice, Seim ranted, rather it is designed to give them the narrative so they can spin it as if they are accountable.

Finicums widow, Jeanette Finicum, a featured speaker at last weekends Red Pill gathering of assorted antigovernment extremists and conspiracy theorists in Montana, claims the federal cover-up in her husbands death is much broader.

After the FBI agent was indicted, she told media outlets that she was grateful, but still believes other officers were involved in the cover-up.

Some in militia and antigovernment ranks continue to maintain, without any forensic evidence, that Finicum was murdered by FBI agents and state police.

Levin, who studies extremists and hate crimes in his position as a professor at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremismat California State University in San Bernardino, said the Oregon case serves up the perfect ingredients for antigovernment conspiracy buffs and bashers.

Finicum already was on his way to becoming a new, folkloric hero in the extremist, Patriot movement, Levin said, referring to Patriot-depictions of the Nevada rancher and foster parent as a quirky, horseback-riding, Constitution-and-gun-loving Patriot who was cut-down by murderous federal agents.

What was missing was a real overt hook of government over-reach, violence andcover-up, and now, with this indictment, all those elements are there for the Patriots who want to believe this stuff, he said.

Antigovernment extremists, as they did after Ruby Ridge in 1992 and Waco the following year, like to bolster their message by citing such catalytic events involving folkloric victims with any hint of federal law enforcement overreach or cover-up.

In contrast, following the FBIs 1996 standoff with the Montana Freemen, the longest siege in the bureaus history, where there were arrests without gunfire and no casualties on either side, there wereno legacy claims left for antigovernment proponents and fuel for the Patriot movement.

After the Freeman standoff ended peacefully, it knocked the wind out of the movement, Levin said.

In any extremist movement, Levin said, you not only need heroes, you need villains, and here you have it wrapped all into one.

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Michael Swartz: Southern Poverty Law Center Got Rich on ‘Hate … – Patriot Post

Michael Swartz Jun. 30, 2017

Back in 1971, a marketer and attorney co-founded a crusading legal organization that cut its teeth with a series of civil lawsuits that eventually all but dismantled the Ku Klux Klan. Had the organization rested on its laurels with that achievement, as well as other early work in the civil rights arena, perhaps the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) would continue to maintain a modest but solid reputation in the legal advocacy community for its impact on that movement.

But co-founder Morris Dees has always had bigger things in mind. So as the SPLC continued to move beyond its original focus on civil rights and issues common in the Southern U.S. to include a plethora of other leftist causes on a national scale, its ambition (and fundraising appetite) became larger as well. Dees once promised to stop the constant appeals for money when the groups endowment reached $55 million, but as that marker drew closer the bar was raised to $100 million, and now the SPLC sits on a $302.8 million pile of cash. Clearly, the Poverty is in name only.

Dees and company havent stopped looking for money either: a guitar that belonged to the late Grateful Dead founder Jerry Garcia was sold at auction last month for $1.9 million. After expenses, and with a matching donation from the sponsor, the SPLC netted a cool $3.2 million from the event. [I could] indulge two passions of mine at the same time, said winning bidder Brian Halligan, chief executive of HubSpot: social justice and the Grateful Dead.

Meanwhile, since there isnt much need to sue the KKK out of existence these days, the SPLC has turned its attention to advocacy, as in trying to define itself as the sole arbiter of what defines a hate group. One recent case in point: The GuideStar directory of charities ran into controversy when it adopted the SPLCs definition of hate group and applied it to legitimate organizations such as those opposing same-sex marriage or otherwise promoting Bible-based Christian beliefs. The hate group list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies, states a letter to GuideStar that was signed by more than 40 people, many affiliated with these organizations or otherwise sympathetic to their views.

In fact, the conservative Liberty Counsel is suing. Its founder and chairman, Mat Staver, said, We want to stop the lies because this kind of reporting is defamatory, its reckless, and its dangerous.

One of the supposed hate groups is the Family Research Council, which has its own history with the SPLC. In 2012, a deranged man, Floyd Corkins, walked into the lobby of the FRC offices and began shooting, wounding a security guard before being subdued. (A year later, Corkins was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the shooting.) Corkins later told police his attack was a protest against the FRCs pro-traditional marriage stance, and he was inspired in part by the SPLCs labeling of the Family Research Council as a hate group.

Behind the imposing, nearly prison-like faade of its six-story headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, the SPLC has more than 200 employees tasked mainly with a relentless study and definition of right-of-center organizations as purveyors of hatred merely for their stance on issues like immigration, religious freedom, social issues, and the welfare state. In its Extremist Files, the SPLC does have a handful of fringe leftist exceptions such as the Nation of Islam and a few black nationalists to provide a fig leaf of cover for themselves, but the SPLC seems to believe the hate comes almost exclusively from the intolerant Right so much so that even the Obama administration backed away from using it as a resource.

Yet that mindset has moved into overdrive since the election of Donald Trump. It was made even worse when Trump appointed Alabamas own Jeff Sessions as attorney general, a move Dees called probably the worst mistake Trump could have made for the United States of America.

Theres no question leftists are reeling from the 2016 election: The SPLC board was so confident Hillary Clinton had it in the bag that they were game-planning their next four years shilling for her when they met on the eve of the November election. They couldnt envision a Trump administration, even if 63 million Americans could.

What the SPLC board lacked in vision, though, will more than likely be made up for with ruthless ambition. Once again, with the Right currently controlling all three branches of government, the SPLC will make Donald Trump a fundraising bogeyman. Maybe that wasnt in the original plan 46 years ago, but the SPLC must now feed the beast of the intolerant Left. Indeed, its much more lucrative to build up those feelings of hatred before asking for that donation.

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Michael Swartz: Southern Poverty Law Center Got Rich on ‘Hate … – Patriot Post

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Split Verdict in Michigan Twitter Hate-Stalking Case – Southern Poverty Law Center

While a jury in Grand Rapids, Michigan, determined there wasnt proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict David Joseph Lenio of aggravated stalking and use of a computer to commit a crime, the panel did convict him of malicious use of telecommunication services, a misdemeanor.

Lenio, 30, who has been in jail sincelate February in Grand Rapids, was released on his own recognizance, but the judge banned him from using a phone or the Internet until sentencing in August.

Lenio did not testify in his own defense during the three-day trial.

He was accused of stalking and using a computer to threaten and engage in willful repeated or continuous harassment of Jonathan Hutson, a Maryland anti-gun violence advocate whose Twitter-sleuthing led to Lenios arrest when Leniowas briefly living in Kalispell, Montana, in 2015.

At that time, Flathead County, Montana prosecutors charged Lenio with two felony charges of intimidation and malicious intimidation for making online threats of violence. A search of his apartment in Kalispell turned up a handgun and two rifles a bolt action and a semi-automatic.

Lenio, a former high school cross-country athlete, used his Twitter account to say he wanted to execute 30 or more grade school children — to exceed the number killed at Sandy Hook in December 2012.

He also posted tweets about shooting up a synagogue, boasting that he wanted to put two bullets in the head of a rabbi or Jewish leader. He additionally posted comments about going on a killing rampage until cops take me out.

David Joseph Lenio was convicted of one misdemeanor and found not guilty of two felonies related to online threats made against children and Jews. (AP Images/Flathead Beacon, Greg Lindstrom)

But the Montana prosecutors suddenly dropped the twin felony charges just days before the 2015 trial under a deferred prosecution deal that the charges against Lenio would be dropped in 2018 if he broke no laws, including contact with Hutson.

However, after returning to his hometown in Michigan, Lenio early this year again used Twitter this time to terrorize, frighten, intimidate and harass Hutson in violation of the Montana court order.

During the Michigan trial thatended Wednesday, there was a point of confusion between the prosecution and defense whether Lenio violated the Montana delayed prosecution agreement, according to the news site Michigan Live.

Hutson told Hatewatch he hopes, as a crime victim, that he will be able to address the court at Lenios sentencing hearing.

My primary concern remains that David Lenio should receive the mental healthcare he needs and deserves at his own expense, Hutson said.

He also said he will urge the court to place Lenio on probation for two years, during which time he would be banned from social media, not contact any witnesses, and not own or possess guns.

I hope he will turn his life around, Hutson said. He needs intervention and support to do that.

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Split Verdict in Michigan Twitter Hate-Stalking Case – Southern Poverty Law Center

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NGO financial monitor GuideStar may resume using Southern … – Fox News

The worlds largest financial monitor of nonprofits finances, which began applying a left-wing organizations hate group label to some conservative nonprofits but stopped after a backlash, may soon resume the controversial practice.

Earlier this month GuideStar, which monitors the finances of more than 1.6 million NGOs and nonprofits, began adding the Southern Poverty Law Centers (SPLC) hate group labels to more than 40 nonprofits.

But after an outcry last week from 41 people, most affiliated with conservative groups, who signed and publicly released aletter blasting GuideStarfor using the SPLCs labels, the group pulled the labels. But the group implied it was open to reverting back to using the designation after it studies the issue.

They said the SPLC classifications are biased against conservative groups and that — solely because of views that SPLC deems as opposite of theirs — many peaceful organizations were inaccurately lumped with ones that actually promote violence.

If they’re going to use something from a highly ideological group like the SPLC, GuideStar should also ask conservative groups to draw up [hate-group] lists.

They assert that SPLC turns a blind eye to nearly all leftist groups that have been linked to hate-fueling activities and violence, and has no warning labels about them. They are concerned that as the most influential source for information about charities, GuideStars use of a list that targets only groups that lean conservative and that are peaceful could end up costing them donations.

Its a vicious way to smear people by lumping them in with genuinely nasty groups, said Scott Walter, president of Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank that monitors nonprofits. I prefer that they not use anybodys list. But at the barest minimum, if theyre going to use something from a highly ideological group like the SPLC, GuideStar should also ask conservative groups to draw up [hate-group] lists.

On Monday, GuideStar saidthat after the many complaints it received about the SPLCs list and approach for labeling a group as one that encourages hate, it was temporarily suspending the annotations. It also cited threats against its employees as a reason for taking down links to SPLC.

It is a growing concern in the nonprofit community that there are some groups who use a nonprofit designation to advance hateful agendas, GuideStar said in a statement to Fox News. Weve begun to engage the community in a conversation to figure out how we can best go about the process of identifying organizations that use the nonprofit form for this reason. Through these conversations, we hope to find a productive means to serve all the people who use GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles as a valuable resource for reviewing nonprofits missions, operations, goals, and results.

Asked what the next step is and when it will happen, GuideStar said: The timing of the next series of changes is dependent on the outcome of our conversations with the nonprofit community.

SPLC, meanwhile, downplayed the move by GuideStar in a statement to Fox News.

At a time when hate groups increasingly present a mainstream veneer, the public deserves such information.

At a time when hate groups increasingly present a mainstream veneer, the public deserves such information, the organization said. We respect that GuideStar is reassessinghowto make that information available.

Some Christian groups complained that they were pegged as hate groups by SPLC because they oppose same-sex marriage. They argued that it wrong to lump them in the same category as, for instance, the Ku Klux Klan and skinheads.

The Washington Post notedthat SPLC flags 52 organizations as anti-LGBT, among them churches and nonprofit Christian ministries.

SPLC points out that some of the groups support criminalization of gay sex and actively are working against bathroom bills that would ban transgender people from using public restrooms in accordance with their gender identities.

Those views, conservatives say, do not rise to the level of “hate group” or violence.

“The ‘hate-group’ list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies,” said the letter sent to GuideStar. “The list is ad hoc, partisan, and agenda-driven.”

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The Southern Poverty Law Center Bears False Witness – First Things

For years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has enjoyed respect and deference in American political culture, with its list of hate groups frequently invoked as authoritative. All people of good faith, on the right and the left, should lament these facts. The SPLCs hyper-partisanship is bad enough. Far worse is its dilution of the word hate to denote any worldview that is not in step with a specific kind of ideological orthodoxy. The good news? People are beginning to notice.

Maajid Nawaz has noticed. Nawaz, a British Muslim activist who spent his teens and early twenties professing radical Islamist ideology before reforming, intends to sue the SPLC for defamation of character. The organization recently branded Nawaz an anti-Muslim extremist, for reasons that even sympathetic media outlets have found puzzling. By all appearances, Nawaz is a serious political thinker whose ideas have found cross-partisan support in the United Kingdom.

Why does the SPLC conclude that Nawaz is a hateful bigot? Its explanation is incoherent and petty, even by SPLC standards. The SPLC includes in its incriminatory In Their Own Words section the following notation: According to a Jan. 24, 2014, report in The Guardian, Nawaz tweeted out a cartoon of Jesus and Muhammaddespite the fact that many Muslims see it as blasphemous to draw Muhammad. He said that he wanted to carve out a space to be heard without constantly fearing the blasphemy charge. This is a truly bizarre indictment. As The Atlantics David Graham observes, the SPLC appears to be taking a theological position on the issue of cartoons and blasphemy, and then condemning Nawaz as a bigot based on his opposition to that position.

The SPLCs willingness to designate itself an arbiter of correct Islamic theology would be amusing if it werent so destructive.

Discussing his lawsuit during a recent appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher, Nawaz posed a question to defenders of the SPLC. Citing the SPLCs longstanding opposition to (and besmirching of) conservative Christian groups, Nawaz asked, They arrogate to themselves the right to criticize their own Bible Belt. But they dont want me to criticize my belt, within my own community? Its this hypocrisy that is the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Nawaz is right to point out the hypocrisy, though one wishes hed extend this line of reasoning farther. If the SPLC sees no contradiction between its blackballing of Christianity and its blackballing of Nawaz, could that be because the Center is not, in fact, interested in flagging real hatred?

Of course, the duplicity of the SPLC comes as no surprise to social conservatives. The SPLC has long designated the Family Research Council, founded by James Dobson, as an anti-LGBT hate group. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the theology and policy proposals of the FRC is irrelevant. Far more urgent is the need for supporters of the hate group designation to explain how such a pronouncement doesnt immediately apply to thousands of traditional Christian, Jewish, and Muslim organizations, and many millions of religious believers, who take conservative positions on sex and marriage.

The answer, of course, is that it does apply to those millions of believers. Can we really be shocked, then, when such sweeping denunciations trigger political violence? Floyd Lee Corkins, who walked into the FRC front lobby in 2012 with a pistol and fifty rounds of ammunition, told police that he had found the FRC listed on the SPLCs website. And as Nawaz remarked to Maher, Muslim intellectuals who are labeled haters by the SPLC are frequently targeted and sometimes assassinated. Though we should always distinguish clearly between those who use rhetoric and those who use violence, a connection between word and deed in specific instances is inarguable. And it would not be tolerated by the SPLCs supporters, if anyone other than the SPLC were doing the labeling.

The Southern Poverty Law Centers philological gerrymandering has been far too influential for far too long. Liberals and conservatives who want more for the public square than echo chambers and outrage factories should hope that Maajid Nawaz wins his lawsuit, and that the SPLC learns a costly lesson about bearing false witness.

Samuel D. Jamesis associate acquisitions editor for Crossway Books and blogs atMere Orthodoxy.

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Hatewatch Headlines 7/10/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

USA Today: The state of hate in America. New York Times: New York City is a lonely place to be young and black. The Intercept: Facebooks tough-on-terror-talk overlooks white-extremists. VOA News: How to improve reporting of hate crimes New York Magazine: Alt-right figurehead and presidential advisor Steve Bannon is back in his bosss good graces. New York Times: Counterprotesters outnumbered Klan members 20-to-1 in a Charlottesville, Virginia, weekend rally. Right Wing Watch: The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage promises to target Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Commission. Wired: Bad actors like neo-Nazi Andrew weev Auernheimerconflate doxing with journalism. CNET: Does exposure to Internet hate force your body into survival mode? Think Progress: An anti-transgender campaign fails for a second year in a row in the State of Washington. Raw Story: Trump supporter threatens Muslims with billions of camel jockey-piercing rounds of ammo. Salon: Donald Trump is the perfect teaching tool for White Privilege 101.

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Hatewatch Headlines 7/6/2017 – Southern Poverty Law Center

Huffington Post:Louisiana Republican congressman under fire for recording insensitive political video inside Nazi gas chambers at Auschwitz. Raw Story: Journalist who exposed the racist troll behind the Trump vs. CNN GIFdeluged with death threats. Associated Press:U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum exceeds i$250,000 goal to digitize more than 200 diaries from Holocaust victims and survivors. Inside Higher Ed:University of Virginia president urges students to avoid a KKK rally planned Saturday to oppose removal of a statute of Robert E. Lee. Daily News: Connecticut man vandalizes elementary school to frame liberals. Daily Beast: Go Daddy defends providingservices to neo-Nazi and white nationalist sites based on freedom of speech. Forward:Rapper Kodak Black shows up at black supremacy church in Florida. Washington Post: Alook at one of DonaldTrump’s favorite newsnetworks, and it ain’t Fox. KMGH-Denver Channel: A sketch of AdolfHitler surrounded by swastikas taped to a drive-up window at a Taco Bell in Parker, Colorado. Hudson Valley Post: New York State Police arrest an 18-year-old man on hate crime and burglary charges related to anti-Semitic graffiti and damage at a Jewish youth camp. Atlantic: What happens when theres an attempt to compress hatred into a joke?

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Silencing the silencers – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION: Frustrated by its inability to win elections, the left is attempting to silence opponents through intimidation, either in the streets or in the courts. The latest example is the hijacking of Guidestar USA by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Guidestar is a database of more than two million nonprofit and non-governmental (NGO) organizations. Its considered the foremost authority on nonprofits, and had a self-avowed reputation for remaining neutral. That changed when a left wing activist, Jacob Harold, came aboard in 2012. Mr. Harold, whose bio boasts of donating to the Obama campaign, extensive activism on behalf of climate change groups, and hosting a NARAL Pro-Choice D.C. mens event, tweeted a photo of himself holding a sign protesting President Trump at the radical Womens March in January. Apart from Vermont ice cream magnates Ben and Jerry, it might be hard to find a more radically leftist major CEO. So its no wonder that Mr. Harold welcomed the Southern Poverty Law Center as an authority on hate groups. Using SPLCs hate map as a resource, Guidestar smeared 46 organizations, many of them Christian, as hate groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center has a long history of abusing nonprofits and individuals with whom they disagree. They tar innocent people and may have inspired at least two terrorist incidents. The SPLCs hate map lumps Christian and conservative organizations with neo-Nazis, skinheads and other violence-prone groups. The most common offenses? Failing to salute the brave new world of sexual anarchy or unlimited illegal immigration. On Aug. 15, 2012, a disturbed young man, Floyd Corkins II, who later told the FBI that he had been inspired by the SPLCs hate map, attempted to commit mass murder at the D.C.-based Family Research Council. He had a knapsack full of extra rounds and Chick-fil-A sandwiches that he had planned to stuff into the mouths of his victims. Stopped by Leo Johnson, a courageous guard who was shot while subduing him, Corkins became the first person in U.S. history to be convicted under Washington, D.C. law of domestic terrorism. On June 14, Bernie Sanders follower James T. Hodgkinson, who had liked the Southern Poverty Law Center on Facebook, shot up Republican congressmen and their staffs at a baseball practice in Alexandria, critically wounding Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and injuring four others. The Louisiana congressman had been singled out by the SPLC for an alleged connection to a white power group, a charge he denies. Earlier this month, Guidestar began adding the Southern Poverty Law Centers hate group labels to 46 nonprofits. Last week, Guidestar, and the SPLC by implication, began getting major pushback. On June 21, a group of 41 Christian and conservative leaders, including former Attorney General Edwin Meese, signed a letter to Guidestar demanding deletion of the defaming labels, which Guidestar did sort of. The labels were removed but the damage was done and the information is available upon request. Next, Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal foundation, filed a defamation lawsuit on June 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Guidestar for posting a label on Liberty Counsels Guidestar page describing it as an SPLC-designated hate group. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which built its reputation years ago by monitoring the Ku Klux Klan and other violent groups, still raises money by the boatload with its scare tactics and has a $300 million endowment. That allows it to do things like send a dozen attorneys to New Jersey, where a jury under a liberal judge in a kangaroo court in 2015 found a small Jewish group, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) guilty of consumer fraud for directing people to counselors who aid people in overcoming unwanted same-sex desires. The Southern Poverty Law Center also listed former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson in the hate category for his stances on marriage and biblical morality before public outrage made them withdraw the label. Three years ago, the F.B.I. dropped the Southern Poverty Law Center as a source for identifying hate groups. In March 2016, the U.S. Justice Department accused the Southern Poverty Law Center attorneys of lack of professionalism and misconduct for falsely characterizing the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Immigration Reform Law Institute as hate groups. Maajid Nawaz, a moderate Muslim who opposes iihad extremism, says he is also suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for defaming him and his organization, the London-based Quilliam Foundation. If there is still doubt as to the Southern Poverty Law Centers motives, it was laid to rest in an interview with SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok, who said that his groups hate group criteria have nothing to do with criminality or violence or any kind of guess were making about this group could be dangerous. Its strictly ideological. Mr. Potok is also on video stating, Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes and so on. I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them. And the Southern Poverty Law Center still has a shred of credibility? Sure they do. Ask any mainstream journalist. Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.

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July 3, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Southern Poverty Law Center Wants to Censor Google Search Results on Muslims – FrontPage Magazine

Southern Poverty Law Center Wants to Censor Google Search Results on Muslims FrontPage Magazine Last October, the Southern Poverty Law Center called British author and activist Maajid Nawaz, 39, part of the 'ex-radical' circuit of former Islamists who use that experience to savage Islam. During a recent appearance on Bill Maher's show, Nawaz …

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July 2, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Oregon Indictment Guaranteed to Enflame Patriot Paranoia – Southern Poverty Law Center

The new theme-card is this weeks indictment of an FBI agent a member of the bureaus elite Hostage Rescue Team who is accused of an attempted cover-up during last years fatal shooting of an occupier at an Oregon wildlife refuge. In a five-count indictment unsealed Wednesday in Portland, W. Joseph Astarita is accused of three counts of making false statements lying to supervisors and two additional counts of obstruction of justice. For an extremist movement whose bread-and-butter is conspiracy theories about governmental violence, overreach and deception, this case is like a lottery windfall, Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, told Hatewatch. The recent indictment of an FBI agent for lying will fuel fair-right conspiracy theories over the justified shooting of antigovernment activist LaVoy Finicum, seen here during the occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. (AP Images/Rick Bowmer) Astarita, a 40-year-old FBI veteran, was part of its specially trained hostage rescue squad deployed early last year to Oregons Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during the illegal, armed takeover of the federal preserve by Ammon and Ryan Bundy and assorted militia and antigovernment extremists. The Oregon siege came two years after an earlier standoff at Bunkerville, Nevada, involving the Bundys and their father, Cliven Bundy, and assorted militia players. They subsequently were charged with pointing firearms at federal agents involved in a failed attempt in April 2014 to roundup Bundys cattle for nonpayment of federal grazing fees. During the 2016 siege in Oregon, occupier Robert LaVoy Finicum of Nevada was fatally shot by Oregon State Police as they and FBI agents attempted to stop three vehicles and arrest their occupants driving away from the refuge. His death caught on FBI surveillance video — almost immediately seemed to further galvanize factions inradical right, antigovernment circles. Astarita is accused of firing two shots that both missed as Finicumgot out of his truck and attempted to reach for a gun after plowing the vehicle into a snow bank at the police roadblock. After the shooting, the indictment alleges Astarita lied to three FBI supervisors and failed to disclose that he fired his weapon to the FBIs Shooting Response Team. The indictment was returned after an 18-month long investigation by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice working with detectives from the Deschutes County, Oregon Sheriffs Office. Billy J. Williams, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, said the alleged cover-up doesnt call into question earlier investigative findings that Oregon State Police were fully justified in using deadly force against Finicum. But already theres evidence that antigovernment, militia extremists arent buying that official U.S. government line and, instead, are pointing to the Finicum shooting and itsalleged cover-up as examples of what they call federal government excesses and corruption. What did I tell you? Washington state militia organizer Gavin Seimposted on Facebook after the indictment was announced. He disputed claims by the FBI and the Oregon State Police that the shooting of Finicum was justified. The diversion indictment is not about justice, Seim ranted, rather it is designed to give them the narrative so they can spin it as if they are accountable. Finicums widow, Jeanette Finicum, a featured speaker at last weekends Red Pill gathering of assorted antigovernment extremists and conspiracy theorists in Montana, claims the federal cover-up in her husbands death is much broader. After the FBI agent was indicted, she told media outlets that she was grateful, but still believes other officers were involved in the cover-up. Some in militia and antigovernment ranks continue to maintain, without any forensic evidence, that Finicum was murdered by FBI agents and state police. Levin, who studies extremists and hate crimes in his position as a professor at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremismat California State University in San Bernardino, said the Oregon case serves up the perfect ingredients for antigovernment conspiracy buffs and bashers. Finicum already was on his way to becoming a new, folkloric hero in the extremist, Patriot movement, Levin said, referring to Patriot-depictions of the Nevada rancher and foster parent as a quirky, horseback-riding, Constitution-and-gun-loving Patriot who was cut-down by murderous federal agents. What was missing was a real overt hook of government over-reach, violence andcover-up, and now, with this indictment, all those elements are there for the Patriots who want to believe this stuff, he said. Antigovernment extremists, as they did after Ruby Ridge in 1992 and Waco the following year, like to bolster their message by citing such catalytic events involving folkloric victims with any hint of federal law enforcement overreach or cover-up. In contrast, following the FBIs 1996 standoff with the Montana Freemen, the longest siege in the bureaus history, where there were arrests without gunfire and no casualties on either side, there wereno legacy claims left for antigovernment proponents and fuel for the Patriot movement. After the Freeman standoff ended peacefully, it knocked the wind out of the movement, Levin said. In any extremist movement, Levin said, you not only need heroes, you need villains, and here you have it wrapped all into one.

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July 1, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

Michael Swartz: Southern Poverty Law Center Got Rich on ‘Hate … – Patriot Post

Michael Swartz Jun. 30, 2017 Back in 1971, a marketer and attorney co-founded a crusading legal organization that cut its teeth with a series of civil lawsuits that eventually all but dismantled the Ku Klux Klan. Had the organization rested on its laurels with that achievement, as well as other early work in the civil rights arena, perhaps the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) would continue to maintain a modest but solid reputation in the legal advocacy community for its impact on that movement. But co-founder Morris Dees has always had bigger things in mind. So as the SPLC continued to move beyond its original focus on civil rights and issues common in the Southern U.S. to include a plethora of other leftist causes on a national scale, its ambition (and fundraising appetite) became larger as well. Dees once promised to stop the constant appeals for money when the groups endowment reached $55 million, but as that marker drew closer the bar was raised to $100 million, and now the SPLC sits on a $302.8 million pile of cash. Clearly, the Poverty is in name only. Dees and company havent stopped looking for money either: a guitar that belonged to the late Grateful Dead founder Jerry Garcia was sold at auction last month for $1.9 million. After expenses, and with a matching donation from the sponsor, the SPLC netted a cool $3.2 million from the event. [I could] indulge two passions of mine at the same time, said winning bidder Brian Halligan, chief executive of HubSpot: social justice and the Grateful Dead. Meanwhile, since there isnt much need to sue the KKK out of existence these days, the SPLC has turned its attention to advocacy, as in trying to define itself as the sole arbiter of what defines a hate group. One recent case in point: The GuideStar directory of charities ran into controversy when it adopted the SPLCs definition of hate group and applied it to legitimate organizations such as those opposing same-sex marriage or otherwise promoting Bible-based Christian beliefs. The hate group list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies, states a letter to GuideStar that was signed by more than 40 people, many affiliated with these organizations or otherwise sympathetic to their views. In fact, the conservative Liberty Counsel is suing. Its founder and chairman, Mat Staver, said, We want to stop the lies because this kind of reporting is defamatory, its reckless, and its dangerous. One of the supposed hate groups is the Family Research Council, which has its own history with the SPLC. In 2012, a deranged man, Floyd Corkins, walked into the lobby of the FRC offices and began shooting, wounding a security guard before being subdued. (A year later, Corkins was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the shooting.) Corkins later told police his attack was a protest against the FRCs pro-traditional marriage stance, and he was inspired in part by the SPLCs labeling of the Family Research Council as a hate group. Behind the imposing, nearly prison-like faade of its six-story headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, the SPLC has more than 200 employees tasked mainly with a relentless study and definition of right-of-center organizations as purveyors of hatred merely for their stance on issues like immigration, religious freedom, social issues, and the welfare state. In its Extremist Files, the SPLC does have a handful of fringe leftist exceptions such as the Nation of Islam and a few black nationalists to provide a fig leaf of cover for themselves, but the SPLC seems to believe the hate comes almost exclusively from the intolerant Right so much so that even the Obama administration backed away from using it as a resource. Yet that mindset has moved into overdrive since the election of Donald Trump. It was made even worse when Trump appointed Alabamas own Jeff Sessions as attorney general, a move Dees called probably the worst mistake Trump could have made for the United States of America. Theres no question leftists are reeling from the 2016 election: The SPLC board was so confident Hillary Clinton had it in the bag that they were game-planning their next four years shilling for her when they met on the eve of the November election. They couldnt envision a Trump administration, even if 63 million Americans could. What the SPLC board lacked in vision, though, will more than likely be made up for with ruthless ambition. Once again, with the Right currently controlling all three branches of government, the SPLC will make Donald Trump a fundraising bogeyman. Maybe that wasnt in the original plan 46 years ago, but the SPLC must now feed the beast of the intolerant Left. Indeed, its much more lucrative to build up those feelings of hatred before asking for that donation.

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Split Verdict in Michigan Twitter Hate-Stalking Case – Southern Poverty Law Center

While a jury in Grand Rapids, Michigan, determined there wasnt proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict David Joseph Lenio of aggravated stalking and use of a computer to commit a crime, the panel did convict him of malicious use of telecommunication services, a misdemeanor. Lenio, 30, who has been in jail sincelate February in Grand Rapids, was released on his own recognizance, but the judge banned him from using a phone or the Internet until sentencing in August. Lenio did not testify in his own defense during the three-day trial. He was accused of stalking and using a computer to threaten and engage in willful repeated or continuous harassment of Jonathan Hutson, a Maryland anti-gun violence advocate whose Twitter-sleuthing led to Lenios arrest when Leniowas briefly living in Kalispell, Montana, in 2015. At that time, Flathead County, Montana prosecutors charged Lenio with two felony charges of intimidation and malicious intimidation for making online threats of violence. A search of his apartment in Kalispell turned up a handgun and two rifles a bolt action and a semi-automatic. Lenio, a former high school cross-country athlete, used his Twitter account to say he wanted to execute 30 or more grade school children — to exceed the number killed at Sandy Hook in December 2012. He also posted tweets about shooting up a synagogue, boasting that he wanted to put two bullets in the head of a rabbi or Jewish leader. He additionally posted comments about going on a killing rampage until cops take me out. David Joseph Lenio was convicted of one misdemeanor and found not guilty of two felonies related to online threats made against children and Jews. (AP Images/Flathead Beacon, Greg Lindstrom) But the Montana prosecutors suddenly dropped the twin felony charges just days before the 2015 trial under a deferred prosecution deal that the charges against Lenio would be dropped in 2018 if he broke no laws, including contact with Hutson. However, after returning to his hometown in Michigan, Lenio early this year again used Twitter this time to terrorize, frighten, intimidate and harass Hutson in violation of the Montana court order. During the Michigan trial thatended Wednesday, there was a point of confusion between the prosecution and defense whether Lenio violated the Montana delayed prosecution agreement, according to the news site Michigan Live. Hutson told Hatewatch he hopes, as a crime victim, that he will be able to address the court at Lenios sentencing hearing. My primary concern remains that David Lenio should receive the mental healthcare he needs and deserves at his own expense, Hutson said. He also said he will urge the court to place Lenio on probation for two years, during which time he would be banned from social media, not contact any witnesses, and not own or possess guns. I hope he will turn his life around, Hutson said. He needs intervention and support to do that.

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NGO financial monitor GuideStar may resume using Southern … – Fox News

The worlds largest financial monitor of nonprofits finances, which began applying a left-wing organizations hate group label to some conservative nonprofits but stopped after a backlash, may soon resume the controversial practice. Earlier this month GuideStar, which monitors the finances of more than 1.6 million NGOs and nonprofits, began adding the Southern Poverty Law Centers (SPLC) hate group labels to more than 40 nonprofits. But after an outcry last week from 41 people, most affiliated with conservative groups, who signed and publicly released aletter blasting GuideStarfor using the SPLCs labels, the group pulled the labels. But the group implied it was open to reverting back to using the designation after it studies the issue. They said the SPLC classifications are biased against conservative groups and that — solely because of views that SPLC deems as opposite of theirs — many peaceful organizations were inaccurately lumped with ones that actually promote violence. If they’re going to use something from a highly ideological group like the SPLC, GuideStar should also ask conservative groups to draw up [hate-group] lists. They assert that SPLC turns a blind eye to nearly all leftist groups that have been linked to hate-fueling activities and violence, and has no warning labels about them. They are concerned that as the most influential source for information about charities, GuideStars use of a list that targets only groups that lean conservative and that are peaceful could end up costing them donations. Its a vicious way to smear people by lumping them in with genuinely nasty groups, said Scott Walter, president of Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank that monitors nonprofits. I prefer that they not use anybodys list. But at the barest minimum, if theyre going to use something from a highly ideological group like the SPLC, GuideStar should also ask conservative groups to draw up [hate-group] lists. On Monday, GuideStar saidthat after the many complaints it received about the SPLCs list and approach for labeling a group as one that encourages hate, it was temporarily suspending the annotations. It also cited threats against its employees as a reason for taking down links to SPLC. It is a growing concern in the nonprofit community that there are some groups who use a nonprofit designation to advance hateful agendas, GuideStar said in a statement to Fox News. Weve begun to engage the community in a conversation to figure out how we can best go about the process of identifying organizations that use the nonprofit form for this reason. Through these conversations, we hope to find a productive means to serve all the people who use GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles as a valuable resource for reviewing nonprofits missions, operations, goals, and results. Asked what the next step is and when it will happen, GuideStar said: The timing of the next series of changes is dependent on the outcome of our conversations with the nonprofit community. SPLC, meanwhile, downplayed the move by GuideStar in a statement to Fox News. At a time when hate groups increasingly present a mainstream veneer, the public deserves such information. At a time when hate groups increasingly present a mainstream veneer, the public deserves such information, the organization said. We respect that GuideStar is reassessinghowto make that information available. Some Christian groups complained that they were pegged as hate groups by SPLC because they oppose same-sex marriage. They argued that it wrong to lump them in the same category as, for instance, the Ku Klux Klan and skinheads. The Washington Post notedthat SPLC flags 52 organizations as anti-LGBT, among them churches and nonprofit Christian ministries. SPLC points out that some of the groups support criminalization of gay sex and actively are working against bathroom bills that would ban transgender people from using public restrooms in accordance with their gender identities. Those views, conservatives say, do not rise to the level of “hate group” or violence. “The ‘hate-group’ list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies,” said the letter sent to GuideStar. “The list is ad hoc, partisan, and agenda-driven.”

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June 28, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed

The Southern Poverty Law Center Bears False Witness – First Things

For years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has enjoyed respect and deference in American political culture, with its list of hate groups frequently invoked as authoritative. All people of good faith, on the right and the left, should lament these facts. The SPLCs hyper-partisanship is bad enough. Far worse is its dilution of the word hate to denote any worldview that is not in step with a specific kind of ideological orthodoxy. The good news? People are beginning to notice. Maajid Nawaz has noticed. Nawaz, a British Muslim activist who spent his teens and early twenties professing radical Islamist ideology before reforming, intends to sue the SPLC for defamation of character. The organization recently branded Nawaz an anti-Muslim extremist, for reasons that even sympathetic media outlets have found puzzling. By all appearances, Nawaz is a serious political thinker whose ideas have found cross-partisan support in the United Kingdom. Why does the SPLC conclude that Nawaz is a hateful bigot? Its explanation is incoherent and petty, even by SPLC standards. The SPLC includes in its incriminatory In Their Own Words section the following notation: According to a Jan. 24, 2014, report in The Guardian, Nawaz tweeted out a cartoon of Jesus and Muhammaddespite the fact that many Muslims see it as blasphemous to draw Muhammad. He said that he wanted to carve out a space to be heard without constantly fearing the blasphemy charge. This is a truly bizarre indictment. As The Atlantics David Graham observes, the SPLC appears to be taking a theological position on the issue of cartoons and blasphemy, and then condemning Nawaz as a bigot based on his opposition to that position. The SPLCs willingness to designate itself an arbiter of correct Islamic theology would be amusing if it werent so destructive. Discussing his lawsuit during a recent appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher, Nawaz posed a question to defenders of the SPLC. Citing the SPLCs longstanding opposition to (and besmirching of) conservative Christian groups, Nawaz asked, They arrogate to themselves the right to criticize their own Bible Belt. But they dont want me to criticize my belt, within my own community? Its this hypocrisy that is the soft bigotry of low expectations. Nawaz is right to point out the hypocrisy, though one wishes hed extend this line of reasoning farther. If the SPLC sees no contradiction between its blackballing of Christianity and its blackballing of Nawaz, could that be because the Center is not, in fact, interested in flagging real hatred? Of course, the duplicity of the SPLC comes as no surprise to social conservatives. The SPLC has long designated the Family Research Council, founded by James Dobson, as an anti-LGBT hate group. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the theology and policy proposals of the FRC is irrelevant. Far more urgent is the need for supporters of the hate group designation to explain how such a pronouncement doesnt immediately apply to thousands of traditional Christian, Jewish, and Muslim organizations, and many millions of religious believers, who take conservative positions on sex and marriage. The answer, of course, is that it does apply to those millions of believers. Can we really be shocked, then, when such sweeping denunciations trigger political violence? Floyd Lee Corkins, who walked into the FRC front lobby in 2012 with a pistol and fifty rounds of ammunition, told police that he had found the FRC listed on the SPLCs website. And as Nawaz remarked to Maher, Muslim intellectuals who are labeled haters by the SPLC are frequently targeted and sometimes assassinated. Though we should always distinguish clearly between those who use rhetoric and those who use violence, a connection between word and deed in specific instances is inarguable. And it would not be tolerated by the SPLCs supporters, if anyone other than the SPLC were doing the labeling. The Southern Poverty Law Centers philological gerrymandering has been far too influential for far too long. Liberals and conservatives who want more for the public square than echo chambers and outrage factories should hope that Maajid Nawaz wins his lawsuit, and that the SPLC learns a costly lesson about bearing false witness. Samuel D. Jamesis associate acquisitions editor for Crossway Books and blogs atMere Orthodoxy. Become a fan ofFirst ThingsonFacebook,subscribe toFirst ThingsviaRSS, and followFirst ThingsonTwitter.

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June 28, 2017   Posted in: Southern Poverty Law Center  Comments Closed


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